Analyzing the socio-economic impacts of healthcare policies and a public health issue
This dissertation includes three essays analyzing the socio-economic impacts of healthcare policies and a public health issue in the areas of healthcare price transparency, disease management, and water pollution. The first chapter, Price Transparency and Healthcare Costs: The Case of the New Hampshire Healthcare Market, analyzes the effect of price transparency on supply side changes to healthcare spending. It finds New Hampshire Healthcare Cost reduced negotiated prices by 1.3%, due to responses of insurances and healthcare facilities. The effect was heterogenous across insurers depending on how much they paid to a facility relative to those their competitors paid before the price transparency. The second chapter, Can Chronic Diseases Be Managed to Cost Less? The Case of A Diabetes Disease Management Program, evaluates the effect of a private diabetes disease management program on healthcare costs. It finds disease management programs could reduce allowance by $127 per person per month on average. This reduction was contributed by lower costs for inpatient services, outpatient services, physician visits, and emergency room visits. The third chapter, Something in the Pipe: Flint Water Crisis and Health at Birth, estimates the effect of in utero exposure to water pollutions on birth outcomes. Using the Flint water crisis as a natural experiment, it finds the water crisis modestly increased the probability of low birth weight by 1.8 percentage points but had little effect on the length of gestation or prematurity.