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Waiting-time targets in the healthcare sector: How long are we waiting?

  • Dixon, Huw
  • Siciliani, Luigi

Waiting-time targets are used by policy makers to monitor providers' performance. Such targets are based on the distribution of the patients on the list. We compare and link such distribution with the distribution of waiting time of patients treated, as opposed to on the list, which is a better measure of total disutility from waiting (although can only be calculated retrospectively). We show that the latter can be calculated from the former, and vice versa. We also show that, depending on how the hazard rate varies with time waited, the proportion of patients on the list waiting more than x periods can be higher or lower than the proportion of patients treated waiting more than x periods. However, empirically we find that the proportion of patients waiting on the list more than x months is smaller than our estimate of the proportion of patients treated waiting more than x months.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1081-1098

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:6:p:1081-1098
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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