Fees and Fairness: Medicaid Reimbursements and Patient Outcomes

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

William K. Bellinger




In this thesis I will examine the impact Medicaid reimbursements have on the care Medicaid patients receive. While there is substantial research on the effect that payments have on quantity of care provided, evidence of their health impacts is comparatively lacking. In this thesis, I first overview the methods of physician compensation and critically examine the evidence of how they impact care. I then review the literature on the effect Medicaid payments in particular have on quantity and quality of care. Finally, I provide evidence of a link between Medicaid payments and infant mortality rates in the United States. Using a two-way fixed-effects model and examining the period 2001-2011, I find that increased Medicaid payment rates from state Medicaid agencies are strongly associated with lower infant mortality rates. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings under certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

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