Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services: An Overview of Measurement Issues
AbstractWe review in considerable detail the conceptual and measurement issues that underlie construction of medical care price indexes in the U.S., particularly the medical care consumer price indexes (MCPIs) and medical-related producer price indexes (MPPIs). We outline salient features of the medical care marketplace, including the impacts of insurance, moral hazard, principal-agent relationships, technological progress and organizational changes. Since observed data are unlikely to correspond with efficient outcomes, we discuss implications of the failure of transactions data in this market to reveal reliable marginal valuations, and the consequent need to augment traditional transactions data with information based on cost-effectiveness and outcomes studies. We describe procedures currently used by the BLS in constructing MCPIs and MPPIs, including recent revisions, and then consider alternative notions of medical care output pricing that involve the price or cost of an episode of treatment, rather than prices of fixed bundles of inputs. We outline features of a proposed new experimental price index -- a medical care expenditure price index -- that is more suitable for evaluation and analyses of medical care cost changes, than are the current MCPIs and MPPIs. We conclude by suggesting future research and measurement issues that are most likely to be fruitful.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6817.
Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Publication status: published as Ernst R. Berndt, David M. Cutler, Richard Frank, Zvi Griliches, Joseph P. Newhouse, Jack E. Triplett. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services -- An Overview of Measurement Issues," in David M. Cutler and Ernst R. Berndt, editors, "Medical Care Output and Productivity" University of Chicago Press (2001)
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- Ernst R. Berndt & David M. Cutler & Richard Frank & Zvi Griliches & Joseph P. Newhouse & Jack E. Triplett, 2001. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services -- An Overview of Measurement Issues," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 141-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernst R. Berndt & David M. Cutler & Richard G. Frank & Zvi Griliches & Joseph P. Newhouse & Jack E. Triplett, 1998. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services: An Overview of Measurement Issues," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1851, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
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