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Understanding Inappropriateness in Health Care. The Role of Supply Structure, Pricing Policies and Political Institutions in Caesarean Deliveries

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  • Maura Francese

    ()
    (Structural Economic Analysis Department – Economics, Research and International Relations Area, Bank of Italy, Italy)

  • Massimiliano Piacenza

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

  • Marzia Romanelli

    ()
    (Structural Economic Analysis Department – Economics, Research and International Relations Area, Bank of Italy, Italy)

  • Gilberto Turati

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

Abstract

The upward trend in the incidence of caesarean deliveries is a widespread stylised fact in many countries. Several studies have argued that it does not reflect, at least in part, patients’ needs but that it is also influenced by other factors, such as providers/physicians incentives. Not surprisingly, the incidence of caesarean sections is often used as an indicator of the degree of (in)appropriateness in health care, which has also been found to be strongly correlated with excessive expenditure levels. In this paper, we exploit the significant regional variation in the share of caesarean sections recorded in Italy to explore the impact on inappropriateness of three groups of variables: 1) structural supply indicators (e.g., the incidence of private providers); 2) pricing policies (role of DRG tariffs); 3) political economy indicators (to capture different approaches to the governance of the health care sector). The analysis controls for demand side factors, such as the demographic structure of the population and education levels. The results suggest that DRG tariffs might be an effective policy tool to control inappropriateness, once the composition of the regional health care system – in terms of private vs. public providers – is taken into account. Also some characteristics of regional governments and the funding sources of regional health spending do matter.

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File URL: http://eco83.econ.unito.it/RePEc/wp/m1.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 001.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:001

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Keywords: health care; inappropriateness; regional disparities; pricing policy; political economy;

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References

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  1. Wiji Arulampalam & Sugato Dasgupta & Amrita Dhillon & Bhaskar Dutta, 2008. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A Theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-14, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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  7. Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2010. "Does Fiscal Discipline towards Sub-national Governments Affect Citizens’ Well-being? Evidence on Health," Working papers 12, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  8. D. Fabbri & C. Monfardini, 2006. "Style of practice and assortative mating: a recursive probit analysis of cesarean section scheduling in Italy," Working Papers 557, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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  12. Maura Francese & Marzia Romanelli, 2011. "Healthcare in Italy: expenditure determinants and regional differentials," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 828, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. J. Paul Elhorst & Sandy Fréret, 2009. "Evidence Of Political Yardstick Competition In France Using A Two-Regime Spatial Durbin Model With Fixed Effects," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 931-951.
  14. Ernesto Dal Bó & Martín Rossi, 2008. "Term Length and Political Performance," NBER Working Papers 14511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Maura Francese & Marzia Romanelli, 2014. "Is there room for containing healthcare costs? An analysis of regional spending differentials in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 117-132, March.

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