IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v128y2015icp290-300.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Prioritization and the elusive effect on welfare – A Norwegian health care reform revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Aakvik, Arild
  • Holmås, Tor Helge
  • Kjerstad, Egil

Abstract

The Faster Return to Work (FRW) scheme that Norwegian authorities implemented in 2007 is an example of a policy that builds on the human capital approach. The main idea behind the scheme is that long waiting times for hospital treatment lead to unnecessarily long periods of absence from work. To achieve a reduction in average sickness absence duration, the allocation of FRW funds and new treatment capacity is exclusively aimed at people on sick leave. Many countries have allocated funds to reduce waiting times for hospital treatment and research shows that more resources allocated to the hospital sector can reduce waiting times. Our results support this as the FRW scheme significantly reduces waiting times. However, on average the reduction in waiting times is not transformed into an equally large reduction in the sickness absence period. We find significant difference in the effects of FRW on length of sick leave between surgical and non-surgical patients though. The duration of sick leave for FRW patients undergoing surgical treatment is approximately 14 days shorter than for surgical patients on the regular waiting list. We find no significant effect of the scheme on length of sick leave for non-surgical patients. In sum, our welfare analysis indicates that prioritization of the kind that the FRW scheme represents is not as straightforward as one would expect. The FRW scheme costs more than it contributes in reduced productivity loss. We base our analyses on several different econometric methods using register data on approximately 13 500 individuals over the period 2007–2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Aakvik, Arild & Holmås, Tor Helge & Kjerstad, Egil, 2015. "Prioritization and the elusive effect on welfare – A Norwegian health care reform revisited," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 290-300.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:128:y:2015:i:c:p:290-300
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.044
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615000702
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Torrance, George W. & O'Brien, Bernie J. & Stoddart, Greg L., 2005. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198529453.
    2. repec:ags:stataj:264443 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Carol Propper, 1995. "The Disutility of Time Spent on the United Kingdom's National Health Service Waiting Lists," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 677-700.
    4. Aakvik, Arild & Holmas, Tor Helge & Kjerstad, Egil, 2003. "A low-key social insurance reform--effects of multidisciplinary outpatient treatment for back pain patients in Norway," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 747-762, September.
    5. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-959, July.
    6. Lusine Lusinyan & Leo Bonato, 2007. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 475-538, July.
    7. Siciliani, Luigi & Hurst, Jeremy, 2005. "Tackling excessive waiting times for elective surgery: a comparative analysis of policies in 12 OECD countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 201-215, May.
    8. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Holmås, Tor Helge & Kaarboe, Oddvar, 2010. "Prioritization and patients' rights: Analysing the effect of a reform in the Norwegian hospital sector," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 199-208, January.
    9. Per Engström & Pathric Hägglund & Per Johansson, 2017. "Early Interventions and Disability Insurance: Experience from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 363-392, March.
    10. Diane Dawson & Hugh Gravelle & Rowena Jacobs & Stephen Martin & Peter C. Smith, 2007. "The effects of expanding patient choice of provider on waiting times: evidence from a policy experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 113-128.
    11. Oddvar Kaarboe & Fredrik Carlsen, 2014. "Waiting Times And Socioeconomic Status. Evidence From Norway," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 93-107, January.
    12. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J. & Gaure, Simen, 2011. "The anatomy of absenteeism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 277-292, March.
    13. Iversen, Tor, 1993. "A theory of hospital waiting lists," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-71, April.
    14. Martin, Stephen & Smith, Peter C., 1999. "Rationing by waiting lists: an empirical investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 141-164, January.
    15. Giovanni Cerulli, 2014. "ivtreatreg: A command for fitting binary treatment models with heterogeneous response to treatment and unobservable selection," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(3), pages 453-480, September.
    16. Aakvik, Arild & Holmås, Tor Helge & Kamrul Islam, M., 2010. "Does variation in general practitioner (GP) practice matter for the length of sick leave? A multilevel analysis based on Norwegian GP-patient data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1590-1598, May.
    17. Olsen, Jan Abel & Richardson, Jeff, 1999. "Production gains from health care: what should be included in cost-effectiveness analyses?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 17-26, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dyrstad, Karin & Halvorsen, Thomas & Hem, Karl-Gerhard & Rohde, Tarald, 2016. "Sick of waiting: Does waiting for elective treatment cause sickness absence?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(12), pages 1383-1388.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:128:y:2015:i:c:p:290-300. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.