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Influence of waiting time on cost-effectiveness


  • Koopmanschap, M.A.
  • Brouwer, W.B.F.
  • Hakkaart-van Roijen, L.
  • van Exel, N.J.A.


Economic evaluations of health care programs are intended to support policy decisions and therefore should incorporate elements of the health care environment such as waiting lists. We explore possible relationships between waiting time and the cost-effectiveness of health care programs. The impact of waiting on cost-effectiveness is very scenario dependent and may be substantial, especially if health loss while waiting is partly or completely non-reversible. We argue that economic evaluations of health care programs in countries with waiting lists should consider the possible impact of waiting on costs and health effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Koopmanschap, M.A. & Brouwer, W.B.F. & Hakkaart-van Roijen, L. & van Exel, N.J.A., 2005. "Influence of waiting time on cost-effectiveness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2501-2504, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:11:p:2501-2504

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Soderqvist, Tore, 1998. "Time spent on waiting lists for medical care: an insurance approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 627-644, October.
    2. van Hout, Ben & Bonsel, Gouke & Habbema, Dik & van der Maas, Paul & de Charro, Frank, 1993. "Heart transplantation in the Netherlands; costs, effects and scenarios," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 73-93, April.
    3. Cullis, John G. & Jones, Philip R. & Propper, Carol, 2000. "Waiting lists and medical treatment: Analysis and policies," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1201-1249, Elsevier.
    4. Petra J. van Enckevort & Marc A. Koopmanschap & Elisabeth M. Tenvergert & Albert Geertsma & Wim van der Bij & Wim J. de Boer & Frans F. H. Rutten, 1997. "Lifetime costs of lung transplantation: estimation of incremental costs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(5), pages 479-489.
    5. Farnworth, Michael G., 2003. "A game theoretic model of the relationship between prices and waiting times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 47-60, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. James Altunkaya’s journal round-up for 3rd September 2018
      by jamesaltunkaya in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2018-09-03 11:00:24


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    Cited by:

    1. Moscelli, Giuseppe & Siciliani, Luigi & Tonei, Valentina, 2016. "Do waiting times affect health outcomes? Evidence from coronary bypass," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 151-159.
    2. Pauline Chauvin & Jean-Michel Josselin & Denis Heresbach, 2014. "The influence of waiting times on cost-effectiveness: a case study of colorectal cancer mass screening," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(8), pages 801-812, November.
    3. Landi, Stefano & Ivaldi, Enrico & Testi, Angela, 2018. "Socioeconomic status and waiting times for health services: An international literature review and evidence from the Italian National Health System," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(4), pages 334-351.


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