IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Challenges and Solutions in Constructing a Microsimulation Model of the Use and Costs of Medical Services in Australia


  • Sharyn Lymer

    (NATSEM, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, 2601, Australia)

  • Laurie Brown

    (NATSEM, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, 2601, Australia)

  • Ann Harding

    (NATSEM, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, 2601, Australia)

  • Alicia Payne

    (Department of Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes Act 2600, Australia)


This paper describes the development of a microsimulation model =HealthMod which simulates the use and costs of medical and related services by Australian families. Australia has a universal social insurance scheme known as =Medicare which provides all Australians with access to free or low-cost essential medical services. These services are provided primarily by general practitioners as well as specialist doctors but also include diagnostic and imaging services. Individuals may pay a direct out-of pocket contribution if fees charged for services are higher than the reimbursement schedule set by government. HealthMod is based on the Australian 2001 National Health Survey. This survey had a number of deficiencies in terms of modelling the national medical benefits scheme. The article outlines three major methodological steps that had to be taken in the model construction: the imputation of synthetic families, the imputation of short-term health conditions, and the annualisation of doctor visits and costs. Some preliminary results on the use of doctor services subsidised through Australias Medicare are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharyn Lymer & Laurie Brown & Ann Harding & Alicia Payne, 2011. "Challenges and Solutions in Constructing a Microsimulation Model of the Use and Costs of Medical Services in Australia," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 4(3), pages 17-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v:4:y:2011:i:3:p:17-31

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rodgers, Willard L, 1984. "An Evaluation of Statistical Matching," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(1), pages 91-102, January.
    2. Laurie Brown & Annie Abello & Ben Phillips & Ann Harding, 2004. "Moving towards an Improved Microsimulation Model of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(1), pages 41-61, March.
    3. Annie Abello & Sharyn Lymer & Laurie Brown & Ann Harding & Ben Phillips, 2008. "Enhancing the Australian National Health Survey Data for Use in a Microsimulation Model of Pharmaceutical Drug Usage and Cost," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(3), pages 1-2.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. William, Jananie & Loong, Bronwyn & Hanna, Dana & Parkinson, Bonny & Loxton, Deborah, 2022. "Lifetime health costs of intimate partner violence: A prospective longitudinal cohort study with linked data for out-of-hospital and pharmaceutical costs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Peter ven de Ven & Anne Harrison & Barbara Fraumeni & Dennis Fixler & David Johnson & Andrew Craig & Kevin Furlong, 2017. "A Consistent Data Series to Evaluate Growth and Inequality in the National Accounts Note: The views expressed in this research, including those related to statistical, methodological, technical, or op," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63, pages 437-459, December.
    2. Kaili Wang & Sanjana Hossain & Khandker Nurul Habib, 2022. "A hybrid data fusion methodology for household travel surveys to reduce proxy biases and under-representation of specific sub-group of population," Transportation, Springer, vol. 49(6), pages 1801-1836, December.
    3. Eugenio Zucchelli & Andrew M Jones & Nigel Rice, 2012. "The evaluation of health policies through dynamic microsimulation methods," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 5(1), pages 2-20.
    4. Michael S. Rendall & Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar & Margaret M. Weden & Zafar Nazarov, 2011. "Multiple Imputation for Combined-Survey Estimation With Incomplete Regressors In One But Not Both Surveys," Working Papers WR-887-1, RAND Corporation.
    5. Thomas Blanchet & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2022. "Real-Time Inequality," NBER Working Papers 30229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. André DECOSTER & Guy VAN CAMP, 2000. "Redistributive Effects of the Shift from Personal Income Taxes to Indirect Taxes: Belgium 1988-1993," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven ces0007, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
    7. Fumagalli, Laura & Sala, Emanuela, 2011. "The total survey error paradigm and pre-election polls: the case of the 2006 Italian general elections," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-29, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Amy K. Glasmeier & Tracey Farrigan, 2007. "The Economic Impacts of the Prison Development Boom on Persistently Poor Rural Places," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 274-299, July.
    9. Azizur Rahman & Ann Harding & Robert Tanton & Shuangzhe Liu, 2010. "Methodological Issues in Spatial Microsimulation Modelling for Small Area Estimation," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 3(2), pages 3-22.
    10. Saeideh Kamgar & Florian Meinfelder & Ralf Münnich & Hamidreza Navvabpour, 2020. "Estimation within the new integrated system of household surveys in Germany," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 61(5), pages 2091-2117, October.
    11. Jana Emmenegger & Ralf Münnich & Jannik Schaller, 2022. "Evaluating Data Fusion Methods to Improve Income Modelling," Research Papers in Economics 2022-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    12. Fiorillo Damiano & Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health," wp.comunite 0073, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    13. Crudu, Federico & Neri, Laura & Tiezzi, Silvia, 2018. "Family Ties and Children Obesity in Italy," MPRA Paper 90360, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Oct 2018.
    14. Linping Xiong & Xiuqiang Ma, 2007. "Forecasting China's Medical Insurance Policy for Urban Employees Using a Microsimulation Model," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 10(1), pages 1-8.
    15. Bostic, Raphael & Gabriel, Stuart & Painter, Gary, 2009. "Housing wealth, financial wealth, and consumption: New evidence from micro data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 79-89, January.
    16. Andrá Decoster & Guy Van Camp, 2001. "Redistributive effects of the shift from personal income taxes to indirect taxes: Belgium 1988-93," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 79-106, March.
    17. Ann Harding & Robert Tanton, 2014. "Policy and people at the small-area level: using micro-simulation to create synthetic spatial data," Chapters, in: Robert Stimson (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Spatially Integrated Social Science, chapter 25, pages 560-586, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Marella, Daniela & Scanu, Mauro & Luigi Conti, Pier, 2008. "On the matching noise of some nonparametric imputation procedures," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(12), pages 1593-1600, September.
    19. Xiong Linping & Tang Weidong & Liu Hong, 2011. "Constructing a Basefile for Simulating Kunmings Medical Insurance Scheme of Urban Employees," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 4(3), pages 3-16.
    20. Fabrizio Antolini & Laura Grassini, 2020. "Issues in Tourism Statistics: A Critical Review," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 1021-1042, August.


    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:ijm:journl:v:4:y:2011:i:3:p:17-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jinjing Li (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.