The Medical Treatment of Depression, 1991-1996: Productive Inefficiency, Expected Outcome Variations, and Price Indexes
AbstractWe examine the price of treating episodes of acute phase major depression over the 1991-1996 time period. We combine data from a large retrospective medical claims data base (MarketScanTM, from the MedStat Group) with clinical literature and expert clinical opinion elicited from a two-state Delphi procedure. This enables us to construct a variety of treatment price indexes that include variations over time in the proportion of off-frontier' production, as well as the corresponding variations in expected treatment outcomes. We also incorporate the fact that the no treatment option ( waiting list') frequently results in spontaneous remission of depressive symptoms. We find that in general the incremental cost of successfully treating an episode of acute phase major depression has generally fallen over the 1991-96 time period. Based on hedonic regression equations that account for the effects of changing patient mix, we find price reductions that range from about -1.66% to -2.13% per year. An implication of this is that, since expenditures on depression are thought to be increasing since at least 1991, the source of the spending increases is volume (quantity) increases, and not price increases.
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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-07-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2000-07-27 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2000-07-27 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 7-22, Spring.
- Robert J. Gordon, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report: A Retrospective One Decade Later," NBER Working Papers 12311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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