Venue / Hotel
Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a global health problem. In hopes of reducing patient traffic, several countries have increased ED entry fees.
We empirically investigate the impact of the June 2017 ED entry fee increase in HK from HK$100 (US$13) to HK$180 (US$23) on ED patient visit behavior and the underlying mechanisms.
Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the fee increase persistently reduced overall patient traffic for at least 2.5 years after the intervention.
Overall, we provide empirical validation of the financial access hurdle as an effective policy instrument for alleviating healthcare congestion.