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How to regulate heterogeneous hospitals

Author

Listed:
  • Brigitte Dormont

    (Institute of Health Economics and Management - Institute of Health Economics and Management)

  • Carine Milcent

    () (PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

In many areas of health care financing, there is controversy over the sources of cost variability and about the respective roles of inefficiency versus legitimate heterogeneity. This paper proposes a payment system that creates incentives to increase hospital efficiency when hospitals are heterogeneous, without reducing the quality of care. We consider an extension of Shleifer's yardstick competition model and apply an econometric approach to identify and evaluate observable and unobservable sources of cost heterogeneity. Moral hazard can be seen as the result of two components: long-term moral hazard (hospital management can be permanently inefficient) and transitory moral hazard. The latter is linked to the manager's transitory cost-reducing effort. For instance, he or she can be more or less rigorous each year when bargaining prices for supplies delivered to the hospital by outside firms. The use of a three-dimensional nested database makes it possible to identify transitory moral hazard and to estimate its effect on hospital cost variability. Econometric estimates are performed on a sample of 7,314 stays for acute myocardial infarction observed in 36 French public hospitals over the period 1994-1997. We obtain two alternative payment systems. The first takes all unobservable hospital heterogeneity into account, provided that it is time invariant, whereas the second ignores unobservable heterogeneity. Simulations show that substantial budget savings--at least 20%--can be expected from the implementation of such payment rules. The first method of payment has the great advantage of reimbursing high-quality care. It leads to substantial potential savings because it provides incentives to reduce costs linked to transitory moral hazard, whose influence on cost variability is far from negligible. This payment rule could be extended to other areas of health care financing, such as Adjusted Average Per Capita Cost to calculate Medicare Managed Care reimbursements in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Brigitte Dormont & Carine Milcent, 2005. "How to regulate heterogeneous hospitals," Post-Print halshs-00754065, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754065
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9134.2005.00075.x
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. James Gaughan & Conrad Kobel & Caroline Linhart & Anne Mason & Andrew Street & Padraic Ward & on behalf of the EuroDRG group, 2012. "Why Do Patients Having Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts Have Different Costs Or Length Of Stay? An Analysis Across 10 European Countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(S2), pages 77-88, August.
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    3. Philippe Choné & Stéphane Gauthier, 2017. "Optimal rationing within a heterogeneous population," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(3), pages 732-738, June.
    4. Dormont, Brigitte & Milcent, Carine, 2012. "Ownership and Hospital Productivity," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1205, CEPREMAP.
    5. Daidone, Silvio & Street, Andrew, 2013. "How much should be paid for specialised treatment?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 110-118.
    6. Thomas P. Tangerås, 2009. "Yardstick Competition and Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 589-613, June.
    7. Andrew Street & Conrad Kobel & Thomas Renaud & Josselin Thuilliez & ON BEHALF OF THE EURODRG GROUP, 2012. "How Well Do Diagnosis‐Related Groups Explain Variations In Costs Or Length Of Stay Among Patients And Across Hospitals? Methods For Analysing Routine Patient Data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(S2), pages 6-18, August.
    8. Roberto Colombi & Gianmaria Martini & Giorgio Vittadini, 2017. "Determinants of transient and persistent hospital efficiency: The case of Italy," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(S2), pages 5-22, September.
    9. Carine Milcent & Brigitte Dormont, 2017. "Ownership and Hospital Productivity
      [Productivité et l’efficacité des hôpitaux publics et privés]
      ," PSE Working Papers hal-01521269, HAL.
    10. Martini, Gianmaria & Scotti, Davide & Viola, Domenico & Vittadini, Giorgio, 2020. "Persistent and temporary inefficiency in airport cost function: An application to Italy," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 999-1019.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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