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The Measurement of Output and Productivity in the Health Care Sector in Canada: An Overview

  • Andrew Sharpe

    ()

  • Celeste Bradley
  • Hans Messinger

To achieve efficient allocation of resources in the health care sector, accurate measures of health care output and productivity are essential. According to official estimates of productivity produced by Statistics Canada, labour productivity in the business sector of the health care (excluding hospitals) and social assistance industry declined 0.28 per cent per year between 1994 and 2003. Estimates of productivity produced by the CSLS, based on official Statistics Canada employment and real GDP figures, show that labour productivity in the health care and social assistance industry declined by 0.69 per cent per year between 1987 and 2006. It is widely recognized that official output and productivity figures may seriously underestimate the true contribution of the health care sector to real output, and more importantly to the economic well-being of Canadians. Alternative approaches show that price indices for health care output may be overestimated and, therefore, quality improvements may not be accurately captured by estimates of real health care output. More resources are needed to further investigate the alternative approaches discussed in this report and develop better output measures that adjust for outcomes directly related to health care spending.

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File URL: http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2007-06.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its series CSLS Research Reports with number 2007-06.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0706
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  1. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1996. "Are Medical Prices Declining?," NBER Working Papers 5750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1999. "Pricing Heart Attack Treatments," NBER Working Papers 7089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • David M. Cutler & Mark B. McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia K. Remler, 2001. "Pricing Heart Attack Treatments," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 305-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ernst R. Berndt & David M. Cutler & Richard G. Frank & Zvi Griliches & Joseph P. Newhouse, 1998. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services: An Overview of Measurement Issues," NBER Working Papers 6817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2007. "Social Value and the Speed of Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 433-437, May.
  5. Peter J. Nicholson, 2003. "The Growth Story: Canada's Long-run Economic Performance and Prospects," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 7, pages 3-23, Fall.
  6. Diane Dawson & Hugh Gravelle & Mary O'Mahony & Andrew Street & Martin Weale & Adriana Castelli & Rowena Jacobs & Paul Kind & Pete Loveridge & Stephen Martin & Philip Stevens & Lucy Stokes, 2005. "Developing new approaches to measuring NHS outputs and productivity," Working Papers 006cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York, revised Dec 2005.
  7. Arthur Sensenig & Ernest Wilcox, 2001. "National Health Accounts/National Income and Product Accounts Reconciliation -- Hospital Care and Physician Services," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 271-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:nsr:niesrd:264 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Soeren Mattke & Edward Kelley & Peter Scherer & Jeremy Hurst & Maria Luisa Gil Lapetra & HCQI Expert Group Members, 2006. "Health Care Quality Indicators Project: Initial Indicators Report," OECD Health Working Papers 22, OECD Publishing.
  10. David M. Cutler & Ernst R. Berndt, 2001. "Medical Care Output and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cutl01-1, May.
  11. Dennis Fixler & Mitchell Ginsburg, 2001. "Health Care Output and Prices in the Producer Price Index," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 221-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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