Changing mix of medical care services: Stylized facts and implications for price indexes
The utilization of health care services has undergone several important shifts in recent years that have implications for the cost of medical care. We empirically document the presence of these shifts for a broad list of medical conditions and assess the implications for price indexes. Following the earlier literature, we compare the growth of two price measures: one that tracks expenditures for the services actually provided to treat conditions and another that holds the mix of those services fixed over time. Using retrospective claims data for a sample of commercially insured patients, we find that, on average, expenditures to treat diseases rose 11% from 2003Q1 to 2005Q4 and would have risen even faster, 18%, had the mix of services remained fixed at the 2003Q1 levels. This suggests that fixed-basket price indexes, as are used in the official statistics, could overstate true price growth significantly.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David M. Cutler & Mark B. McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia K. Remler, 2001.
"Pricing Heart Attack Treatments,"
in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 305-362
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernst R. Berndt & Susan Busch & Richard Frank, 2001. "Treatment Price Indexes for Acute Phase Major Depression," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 463-508 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.
- 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, 1998. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services: An Overview of Measurement Issues," NBER Working Papers 6817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frank, Richard G. & Berndt, Ernst R. & Busch, Alisa B. & Lehman, Anthony F., 2004. "Quality-constant "prices" for the ongoing treatment of schizophrenia: an exploratory study," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 390-409, July.
- F. M. Fisher & K. Shell, 1970. "The Pure Theory of the National-Output Deflator," Working papers 59, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Duggan, Mark, 2005. "Do new prescription drugs pay for themselves?: The case of second-generation antipsychotics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-31, January.
- Berndt, Ernst R. & Cutler, David M. & Frank, Richard G. & Griliches, Zvi & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Triplett, Jack E., 2000. "Medical care prices and output," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 119-180 Elsevier.
- Xue Song & William D. Marder & Robert Houchens & Jonathan E. Conklin & Ralph Bradley, 2009. "Can A Disease-Based Price Index Improve the Estimation of the Medical Consumer Price Index?," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 329-368 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard G. Frank & Thomas G. McGuire & Sharon-Lise Normand, 2006. "Cost-Offsets of New Medications for Treatment of Schizophrenia," NBER Working Papers 12643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Irving Shapiro & Matthew D. Shapiro & David Wilcox, 2001. "Measuring the value of Cataract Surgery," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 411-438 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ana Aizcorbe & Eli Liebman & Sarah Pack & David M. Cutler & Michael E. Chernew & Allison B. Rosen, 2010. "Measuring Health Care Costs of Individuals with Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the U.S.: A Comparison of Survey and Claims Data," BEA Working Papers 0066, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- Gregory S. Crawford & Matthew Shum, 2005. "Uncertainty and Learning in Pharmaceutical Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1137-1173, 07.
- David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1998. "Are Medical Prices Declining? Evidence from Heart Attack Treatments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 991-1024.
- Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:568-574. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.