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CEP/STICERD Applications Seminars

Middle Men or Innovators? The Role of Insurers in Cost and Productivity in Health Care

Jonathan Kolstad (University of California, Berkeley)

Monday 27 March 2023 12:00 - 13:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Health insurers play a central role in the function of any health care system. In practice, whether a single payer system or a managed marketplace, insurers function as the platform aggregating information and determining prices and quantities to allocate health care providers and technologies to patients with a range of, potentially complex, medical conditions. To better understand this role, we study innovation and productivity of U.S. private health insurers. We aggregate information from more than 4800 natural experiments in which employers force over 34,000 workers to switch health insurance plans to recover the distribution of insurer treatment effects on health care spending, prices, quantities, and more granular measures of utilization. We do so both at the aggregate level on a condition-by-condition basis, allowing for productivity differences in the aggregate insurer technology as well as for particular types of patients/diseases where condition specific investments must be made.

Applications (Applied Micro) Seminars are held on Mondays in term time at 12:00-13:30 in SAL 3.05 in person.

Seminar organiser: Maitreesh Ghatak

For further information please contact Sadia Ali:

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