Medical Care Output and Productivity

Medical Care Output and Productivity

David M. Cutler and Ernst R. Berndt

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226132266

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


With the United States and other developed nations spending as much as 14 percent of their GDP on medical care, economists and policy analysts are asking what these countries are getting in return. Yet it remains frustrating and difficult to measure the productivity of the medical care service industries. This volume takes aim at that problem, while taking stock of where we are in our attempts to solve it. Much of this analysis focuses on the capacity to measure the value of technological change and other health care innovations. A key finding suggests that growth in health care spending has coincided with an increase in products and services that together reduce mortality rates and promote additional health gains. Concerns over the apparent increase in unit prices of medical care may thus understate positive impacts on consumer welfare. When appropriately adjusted for such quality improvements, health care prices may actually have fallen. This volume not only clarifies one of the more nebulous issues in health care analysis, but in so doing addresses an area of pressing public policy concern.

Table of Contents


David M. Cutler and Ernst R. Berndt

I Conceptual Issues in Medical Care Prices and Productivity

4 Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services

Ernst R. Berndt, David M. Cutler, Richard G. Frank, Zvi Griliches, Joseph P. Newhouse, and Jack E. Triplett

II Current State of Measurement

5 Medical Care in the Consumer Price Index

Ina Kay Ford and Daniel H. Ginsburg

III Recent Developments

8 Pricing Heart Attack Treatments

David M. Cutler, Mark McClellan, Joseph P. Newhouse, and Dahlia Remler

10 Measuring the Value of Cataract Surgery

Irving Shapiro, Matthew D. Shapiro, and David W. Wilcox

11 Hedonic Analysis of Arthritis Drugs

Iain M. Cockburn and Aslam H. Anis

12 Treatment Price Indexes for Acute Phase Major Depression

Ernst R. Berndt, Susan H. Busch, and Richard G. Frank

IV Extensions of the Frontier

14 Patient Welfare and Patient Compliance

Paul Ellickson, Scott Stern, and Manuel Trajtenberg