IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The impact of teaching status on average costs in Spanish hospitals

Listed author(s):
  • Guillem López-Casasnovas
  • Marc Saez

In this paper, the observed systematic differences in costs for teaching hospitals (TH) in Spain are examined. Concern has been voiced regarding the existence of a bias in the financing of TH once prospective budgets are introduced for hospital finance. Claims for adjustment to take into account the 'legitimate' extra costs of teaching on hospital expenditure may be well grounded. Focus is on the estimation of the impact of teaching status on average cost, using a version of a multi-product hospital cost function, taking into account some relevant factors from which to derive the observed differences. It is assumed that the relationship between the explanatory and the dependent variables follows a flexible form for each of the explanatory variables. Also, the underlying covariance structure of the data is modelled. Two qualitatively different sources of variation are assumed: random effects and serial correlation. Random variation refers to both general level variation (through the random intercept) and the variation specifically related to teaching status. It is postulated that the impact of the random effects is dominant over the impact of the serial correlation effects. The model is estimated by restricted maximum likelihood. The results show that costs are 9% higher (15% in the case of median costs) in teaching than in non-teaching hospitals. That is, teaching status legitimately explains no more than half of the observed difference in actual costs. The impact on costs of the teaching factor depends on the number of residents, with an increase of 51.11% per resident for hospitals with fewer than 204 residents (third quartile of the number of residents) and 41.84% for hospitals with more than 204 residents. In addition, the estimated dispersion is higher among teaching hospitals. As a result, due to the considerable observed heterogeneity, results should be interpreted with caution. From a policy making point of view, it is concluded that since a higher relative burden for medical training falls on public hospitals, an explicit adjustment for the extra costs that the teaching factor imposes on hospital finance is needed, before hospital competition for inpatient services takes place. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 641-651

in new window

Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:7:p:641-651
DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1050(199911)8:7<641::AID-HEC475>3.0.CO;2-L
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Guillem López Casasnovas & Adam Wagstaff, 1988. "La combinación de los factores productivos en el hospital: una aproximación a la función de producción," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 12(2), pages 305-327, May.
  2. Zuckerman, Stephen & Hadley, Jack & Iezzoni, Lisa, 1994. "Measuring hospital efficiency with frontier cost functions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 255-280, October.
  3. Grannemann, Thomas W. & Brown, Randall S. & Pauly, Mark V., 1986. "Estimating hospital costs : A multiple-output analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 107-127, June.
  4. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
  5. Gaynor, Martin & Anderson, Gerard F., 1995. "Uncertain demand, the structure of hospital costs, and the cost of empty hospital beds," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 291-317, August.
  6. Adam Wagstaff & Guillem Lopez, 1996. "Hospital costs in Catalonia: a stochastic frontier analysis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(7), pages 471-474.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:7:p:641-651. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.