Feasible methods to estimate disease based price indexes
There is a consensus that statistical agencies should report medical data by disease rather than by service. This study computes price indexes that are necessary to deflate nominal disease expenditures and to decompose their growth into price, treated prevalence and output per patient growth. Unlike previous studies, it uses methods that can be implemented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For the calendar years 2005–2010, I find that these feasible disease based indexes are approximately 1% lower on an annual basis than indexes computed by current methods at BLS. This gives evidence that traditional medical price indexes have not accounted for the more efficient use of medical inputs in treating most diseases.
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