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Recent research has suggested that clinic services in retail locations (retail clinics) may reduce the cost of medical care and increase the use of preventive services such as vaccination. However, this research only provides suggestive evidence of the effect of retail clinics on expenditure and prevention, because research designs have been insufficient for causal inference. In contrast to previous research, an optimally designed causal study must examine individuals before and after a retail clinic locates nearby and compare that difference to differences in a control group of individuals not living near a new retail clinic.

This project implements such a research design using the MEPS geocoded data and merging it with geographic data on the location and opening dates of all retail clinics in the United States. It examines an individual’s change in medical expenditure and vaccination practice after a retail clinic locates in their census tract. It will compare this difference to differences of individuals in the same county that are not near a newly opened retail clinic. Using fixed effect regression analysis, this research design will enable the making of causal inference about the effect of retail clinics on medical expenditure and vaccination processes.

Benjamin Yarnoff

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