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Technical efficiency in primary health care: does quality matter?

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  • Murillo-Zamorano, Luis R.
  • Petraglia, C.

Abstract

The accuracy required in the measurement of output is an issue that has as yet still not been satisfactorily addressed in empirical research on efficiency in primary health care. We exploit information retrieved from a newly constructed database (APEX06) for the Spanish region of Extremadura. The richness of our dataset allows us to consider original synthetic measures of output that take into account both the quantity and the quality of services provided by 85 primary care centres (PCCs) in 2006. We provide evidence that neglecting the issue of properly accounting for the quality of health services can lead to misleading results. Our main finding is that adjusting output for quality influences efficiency analysis in three senses. First, inefficiency now explains relatively more of the deviation from the potential output. Second, the average technical efficiency in the sector is lower, while its dispersion among PCCs is significantly higher. And third, the efficiency ranking of the PCCs is also affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Murillo-Zamorano, Luis R. & Petraglia, C., 2008. "Technical efficiency in primary health care: does quality matter?," MPRA Paper 10725, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10725
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberta Longo & Claire Hulme & Andrew Smith, 2012. "Measures of Performance in Primary Care - a Review of Efficiency Studies," Working Papers 1203, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
    2. Abate, Megersa & Lijesen, Mark & Pels, Eric & Roelevelt, Adriaan, 2013. "The impact of reliability on the productivity of railroad companies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-49.
    3. José Cordero Ferrera & Eva Cebada & Luis Murillo Zamorano, 2014. "The effect of quality and socio-demographic variables on efficiency measures in primary health care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(3), pages 289-302, April.
    4. J. Buckell & A. Smith & R. Longo & D. Holland, 2015. "Efficiency, heterogeneity and cost function analysis: empirical evidence from pathology services in the National Health Service in England," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(31), pages 3311-3331, July.
    5. Maude Laberge & Walter P. Wodchis & Jan Barnsley & Audrey Laporte, 2016. "Efficiency of Ontario primary care physicians across payment models: a stochastic frontier analysis," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-10, December.
    6. Olena Kalinichenko & Carla A. F. Amado & Sérgio P. Santos, 2013. "Performance Assessment in Primary Health Care: A Systematic Literature Review," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2013_03, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    7. Michiel Bijlsma & Pierre Koning & Victoria Shestalova, 2013. "The Effect of Competition on Process and Outcome Quality of Hospital Care in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 121-155, June.
    8. Thanassoulis, Emmanuel & Silva Portela, Maria C.A. & Graveney, Mike, 2012. "Estimating the scope for savings in referrals and drug prescription costs in the general Practice units of a UK primary care trust," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(2), pages 432-444.
    9. John Buckell & Andrew Smith & Roberta Longo & David Holland, 2013. "Health inefficiency and unobservable heterogeneity - empirical evidence from pathology services in the UK National Health Service," Working Papers 1307, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
    10. repec:kap:hcarem:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10729-016-9355-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kim Olsen & Dorte Gyrd-Hansen & Torben Sørensen & Troels Kristensen & Peter Vedsted & Andrew Street, 2013. "Organisational determinants of production and efficiency in general practice: a population-based study," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(2), pages 267-276, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Primary Health Care; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Technical Efficiency; Quality;

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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