The Economic Consequences of Hospital Admissions

TitleThe Economic Consequences of Hospital Admissions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDobkin, C, Finkelstein, A, Kluender, R, Notowidigdo, MJ
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Date Published08/2016
ISSN Number0002-8282
KeywordsFinancial burden, Hospitalization, Medical Expenses

We use an event study approach to examine the economic consequences of hospital admissions for adults in two datasets: survey data from the Health and Retirement Study, and hospitalization data linked to credit reports. For non-elderly adults with health insurance, hospital admissions increase out-of-pocket medical spending, unpaid medical bills, and bankruptcy, and reduce earnings, income, access to credit, and consumer borrowing. The earnings decline is substantial compared to the out-of-pocket spending increase, and is minimally insured prior to age-eligibility for Social Security Retirement Income. Relative to the insured non-elderly, the uninsured non-elderly experience much larger increases in unpaid medical bills and bankruptcy rates following a hospital admission. Hospital admissions trigger fewer than 5 percent of all bankruptcies in our sample.

Short TitleAmerican Economic Review
Citation Key9487
PubMed ID29445246
PubMed Central IDPMC5809140
Grant ListP01 AG005842 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG032449 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States