Does the Internet Improve Healthcare Behaviors and Health Outcomes?


August 25th, 2017

October 6, 2017 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
MSU, CAS 182
404 Wilson Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823

The deployment and adoption of the internet has created the possibility that consumers acquire access to information at significantly lower costs than previously possible. Dr. Olga Ukhaneva will present her co-authored study examining the impact of consumer use of the internet to access online, health-related information (i.e., eHealth) on healthcare behaviors. Using a unique dataset on individual consumption of medical care from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over 2012-2014 and two-step estimation models to account for potential endogeneity and consumer-level heterogeneity, her results indicate that consumers’ use of eHealth: (1) promotes precautionary care (i.e., more doctor visits; more doctor type visits) over acute care; and (2) achieves superior health outcomes (i.e., shorter hospital stays). Among other findings, her results indicate that while many individuals search for health-related information online, substitution of eHealth for more traditionally delivered healthcare is generally limited to consumers facing the most pressing financial constraints.

Bio: Dr. Olga Ukhaneva is a Managing Consultant at Navigant Economics and a Visiting Senior Policy Scholar at the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University. Olga received her Ph.D. in economics from Georgetown University in 2015. She was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University from 2014 to 2015, and later joined McDonough School of Business as a Research Assistant Professor. Her research focuses on the telecommunications industry and myriad policy issues surrounding it.



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