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Cost-containment in health care: The case of Spain from the eighties up to 1997



The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the evolution of health care expenditure in Spain during the period 1980-1997, and henceforth to comment on the cost containment measures put forward to control its growth. The paper is divided into three separate sections. The first offers a brief description of the Spanish Health Care System, with emphasis placed on the issue of expenditure control and health planning targets. The second part outlines a set of cost containment measures that has accompanied the process of extending universal health care coverage which occurred during the mentioned period and which has helped keep public expenditure under control. Finally, the third part describes some of the more recent proposals for reform of the Spanish Health Care Sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillem López, 1998. "Cost-containment in health care: The case of Spain from the eighties up to 1997," Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics 278, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfses:278

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Gaynor & Gerard F. Anderson, 1991. "Hospital Costs and the Cost of Empty Hospital Beds," NBER Working Papers 3872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Barer, Morris L., 1982. "Case mix adjustment in hospital cost analysis : Information theory revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 53-80, May.
    5. 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.
    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.
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    More about this item


    Cost containment; health care; the spanish NHS; health economics;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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