Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
|Natural Disasters and Elective Medical Services: How Big is the Bounce-Back?|
with , : w27505
COVID-19 has created a dual set of stresses on health care systems worldwide: a rise in expensive intensive care services and a dramatic decline in elective services. The U.S. government has responded with both grant and loan programs to help health care providers weather the storm. But the optimal size and nature of such programs are hard to evaluate without an understanding of the ability of providers to make up their lost elective service revenues over time. In this paper, we study the closest relevant parallel to the reduction in elective services seen under COVID-19: hurricanes. We match information on hurricanes to data on Medicare hospital elective visits and charges from 1997-2013, comparing counties impacted by hurricanes to nearby unaffected counties. We find that the average hur...