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Attributing a monetary value to patients’ time: A contingent valuation approach

Author

Listed:
  • Bernard van den Berg

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Amiram Gafni

    (Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Canada)

  • France Portrait

    (Department of Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

It is hard to ignore the importance of patient time investment in the production of health since the influential paper by Grossman (1972). Patient time includes time to admission, travel time, waiting time, and treatment time and can be substantial. Time to admission is the time between the first referral and the moment that the treatment actually starts. Travel time is the time that a patient needs to travel between the place where the patient lives and the medical care centre where the patient is treated. Waiting time is the time that the patient waits at the medical care centre before treatment. Treatment time is the time spent getting active treatment for example by a doctor or a nurse. Patient time is, however, often ignored in economic analyses. This may lead to biased results and inappropriate policy recommendations, which may eventually influence patients’ health, wellbeing and welfare. How to value patient time is not straightforward. It is even less straightforward for patients who are not participating in the labour market. Although there is some emerging literature on the monetary valuation of patient time, an important challenge remains to develop an approach that can be used to monetarily value time of patients not participating in the labour market. We aim to contribute to the health economics literature by describing and empirically illustrating how to monetarily value patients’ time comprehensively, using the contingent valuation method. Comprehensively means including various types of patient time (time to admission, travel time, waiting time, and treatment time) as the previous literature focused mainly on valuing a particular type of patient time, for instance waiting time. This paper describes the development of the contingent valuation survey. The survey is added as an appendix to this paper. This paper also presents the first empirical results of applying our survey approach in a sample of patients in the Netherlands not participating in the labour market. These results show that the monetary value of waiting time was the highest (€30.10/£34.76 per hour) and travel and treatment time were equally valued (respectively €13.20/£11.43 and €13.32/£11.54 per hour).

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard van den Berg & Amiram Gafni & France Portrait, 2013. "Attributing a monetary value to patients’ time: A contingent valuation approach," Working Papers 090cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:90cherp
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. #HEJC papers for October 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-10-01 04:30:26

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