IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Cost characteristics of hospitals

  • Smet, Mike

Modern hospitals are complex multi-product organisations. The analysis of a hospital's production and/or cost structure should therefore use the appropriate techniques. Flexible functional forms based on the neo-classical theory of the firm seem to be most suitable. Using neo-classical cost functions implicitly assumes minimisation of (variable) costs given that input prices and outputs are exogenous. Local and global properties of flexible functional forms and short-run versus long-run equilibrium are further issues that require thorough investigation. In order to put the results based on econometric estimations of cost functions in the right perspective, it is important to keep these considerations in mind when using flexible functional forms. The more recent studies seem to agree that hospitals generally do not operate in their long-run equilibrium (they tend to over-invest in capital (capacity and equipment)) and that it is therefore appropriate to estimate a short-run variable cost function. However, few studies explicitly take into account the implicit assumptions and restrictions embedded in the models they use. An alternative method to explain differences in costs uses management accounting techniques to identify the cost drivers of overhead costs. Related issues such as cost-shifting and cost-adjusting behaviour of hospitals and the influence of market structure on competition, prices and costs are also discussed shortly.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-46BSD7J-2/2/e00ab953dd560beee6f18eda2108287f
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 55 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
Pages: 895-906

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:55:y:2002:i:6:p:895-906
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:55:y:2002:i:6:p:895-906. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.