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Effects of ownership, subsidization and teaching activities on hospital costs in Switzerland

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  • Mehdi Farsi
  • Massimo Filippini

Abstract

This paper explores the cost structure of Swiss hospitals, focusing on differences due to teaching activities and those related to ownership and subsidization types. A stochastic total cost frontier with a Cobb-Douglas functional form has been estimated for a panel of 148 general hospitals over the six-year period from 1998 to 2003. Inpatient cases adjusted by DRG cost weights and ambulatory revenues are considered as two separate outputs. The adopted econometric specification allows for unobserved heterogeneity across hospitals. The results suggest that teaching activities are an important cost-driving factor and hospitals that have a broader range of specialization are relatively more costly. The excess costs of university hospitals can be explained by more extensive teaching activities as well as the relative complexity of the offered medical treatments from a teaching point of view. However, even after controlling for such differences university hospitals have shown a relatively low cost-efficiency especially in the first two or three years of the sample period. The analysis does not provide any evidence of significant efficiency differences across ownership|subsidy categories. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1268
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 335-350

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:335-350

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Piacenza, Massimiliano & Turati, Gilberto & Vannoni, Davide, 2010. "Restructuring hospital industry to control public health care expenditure: The role of input substitutability," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 881-890, July.
  2. Annika Herr, 2008. "Cost and technical efficiency of German hospitals: does ownership matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1057-1071.
  3. Philippe K Widmer & Peter Zweifel & Mehdi Farsi, 2010. "Accounting For Heterogeneity In The Measurement of Hospital Performance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 10-21, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  4. Vincenzo Atella & Federico Belotti & Silvio Daidone & Giuseppe Ilardi & Giorgia Marini, 2012. "Cost-containment policies and hospital efficiency: evidence from a panel of Italian hospitals," CEIS Research Paper 228, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 13 Apr 2012.
  5. Pedro Barros & Sara Machado, 2010. "Money for nothing?," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 234-255, September.
  6. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Diego Lunati, 2008. "Economies of Scale and Efficiency Measurement in Switzerland's Nursing Homes," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(III), pages 359-378, September.
  7. Helmut Herwartz & Christoph Strumann, 2012. "On the effect of prospective payment on local hospital competition in Germany," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 48-62, March.
  8. Heimeshoff, Mareike & Schreyögg, Jonas, 2013. "Estimation of a physician practice cost function," hche Research Papers 2013/07, Hamburg Center for Health Economics (hche), University of Hamburg.
  9. Zeynep Or & Thomas Renaud & Laure Com-Ruelle, 2009. "One price for all? Sources of cost variations between public and private hospitals," Working Papers DT25, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised May 2009.
  10. Mehdi Farsi, 2008. "The temporal variation of cost-efficiency in Switzerland’s hospitals: an application of mixed models," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 155-168, October.
  11. John Buckell & Andrew Smith & Roberta Longo & David Holland, 2013. "Health inefficiency and unobservable heterogeneity - empirical evidence from pathology services in the UK National Health Service," Working Papers 1307, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
  12. Helmut Herwartz & Christoph Strumann, 2014. "Hospital efficiency under prospective reimbursement schemes: an empirical assessment for the case of Germany," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 175-186, March.
  13. Liu, Gordon G. & Li, Lin & Hou, Xiaohui & Xu, Judy & Hyslop, Daniel, 2009. "The role of for-profit hospitals in medical expenditures: Evidence from aggregate data in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 625-633, December.

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