Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

How price responsive is the demand for specialty care?

Maciejewski ML, Liu CF, Kavee AL, Olsen MK. How price responsive is the demand for specialty care? Health economics. 2012 Aug 1; 21(8):902-12.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: Outpatient visit co-payments have increased in recent years. We estimate the patient response to a price change for specialty care, based on a co-payment increase from $15 to $50 per visit for veterans with hypertension. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: A retrospective cohort of veterans required to pay co-payments was compared with veterans exempt from co-payments whose nonequivalence was reduced via propensity score matching. Specialty care expenditures in 2000-2003 were estimated via a two-part mixed model to account for the correlation of the use and level outcomes over time, and results from this correlated two-part model were compared with an uncorrelated two-part model and a correlated random intercept two-part mixed model. RESULTS: A $35 specialty visit co-payment increase had no impact on the likelihood of seeking specialty care but induced lower specialty expenditures over time among users who were required to pay co-payments. The log ratio of price responsiveness (semi-elasticity) for specialty care increased from -0.25 to -0.31 after the co-payment increase. Estimates were similar across the three models. CONCLUSION: A significant increase in specialty visit co-payments reduced specialty expenditures among patients obtaining medications at the Veterans Affairs medical centers. Longitudinal expenditure analysis may be improved using recent advances in two-part model methods.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.