Measuring the output of the medical sector has been a long-standing policy concern. With the United States and other developed countries spending so much on medical care (7–14 percent of GDP), health care analysts invariably ask what one obtains for all these expenditures. Answering this question requires measuring the output of the medical care sector. The chapters in this volume make a substantial contribution to the measurement of medical care prices, output, and productivity. The book examines the theoretical foundations underlying measures of medical care outcomes, the conceptual and measurement issues that underlie construction of medical care price indexes in the United States, implications of changes introduced into the January 1998 major revision of the Consumer Price Index, the impact of changing medical technologies on reducing the burden of cataracts, health care output and prices in the Producer Price Index, hospital care and physician services, arthritis drugs, treatment price indexes for acute phase major depression, patient welfare and patient compliance, and the allocation of publicly funded biomedical research.
Keywords: medical care, productivity, United States, prices, output, price indexes, medical technologies, patient compliance, biomedical research, hospital care