Hans Christensen, Associate Professor of Accounting
Mark Maffett, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow
Summary: Policymakers have enacted price transparency regulations (hereafter, “PTR”) in over thirty states during the past decade as an attempt to control rising healthcare costs. This proposed project seeks to provide empirical evidence on the effects of these regulations. By using micro data on actual healthcare purchases, and exploiting both between- and within-state variation to address endogeneity concerns, we intend to examine whether price transparency regulations reduce the price charged for common, uncomplicated, and elective procedures. We also plan to exploit cross-sectional variation in a sample of U.S. hospitals to further investigate the effect of PTR on the distribution of prices as well as the effect of hospital competition on patient search efforts. We intend to examine both the impact on charge prices, which are mainly relevant to uninsured patients, and actual payments by insured patients. We also have information on patients’ health insurance contracts, which will allow us to study the impact of the incentives provided by patient coinsurance.