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Study: Higher co-pays mean more trips to the hospital

Wall Street Journal Health Blog, January 28, 2010

A new study has found more expensive co-payments for primary-care and specialty doctor visits were tied to more in-patient hospital time for elderly patients. The implication is that people avoided the doctor's office to save money, then ended up in the hospital when their problems were not detected or treated in their early stages. The apparent effect seemed stronger among people living in low-income areas, and for those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or a history of heart attack, among other groups, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports.