NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Tina Highfill

Bureau of Economic Analysis

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2016Attribution of Health Care Costs to Diseases: Does the Method Matter?
with Allison B. Rosen, Ana Aizcorbe, Michael E. Chernew, Eli Liebman, Kaushik Ghosh, David M. Cutler
in Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs, Ana Aizcorbe, Colin Baker, Ernst Berndt, and David Cutler, editors
Cost of illness (COI) studies focus on allocating health expenditures to a comprehensive set of diseases. A variety of techniques have been used to allocate spending to diseases. In this paper, we compare spending attributed to diseases using three approaches: one based on the principal diagnosis listed on each encounter’s claim, a second based on all diagnoses listed on the encounter, and a third based on decomposing a person’s total annual spending to their conditions. The study sample is large: 2.3 million commercially insured individuals under age 65. Results indicate significant differences in the allocations from the different approaches. The two claims-based encounter approaches allocate 78% of overall spending to diseases, while the person approach allocates 95% of spending to d...
October 2016Calculating Disease-Based Medical Care Expenditure Indexes for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Comparison of Method and Data Choices
with Anne E. Hall
in Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs, Ana Aizcorbe, Colin Baker, Ernst Berndt, and David Cutler, editors
Disease‐based medical care expenditure indexes are currently of interest to measurement economists and have been the subject of several recent papers. These papers, however, produced widely different results for medical care inflation and also varied in the datasets and methods used, making comparison difficult. In this paper, using two data sources and two different methods for calculating expenditure indexes for the Medicare population, we compare the indexes produced and establish some results that will help guide policymakers in choosing indexes for this population. We compare two methods: the primary diagnosis method and a regression‐based method. The former is preferable because of its transparency but makes stringent demands of the data. We find that when the methods are applied to ...
December 2013Calculating Disease-Based Medical Care Expenditure Indexes for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Comparison of Method and Data Choices
with Anne E. Hall: w19720
Disease‐based medical care expenditure indexes are currently of interest to measurement economists and have been the subject of several recent papers. These papers, however, produced widely different results for medical care inflation and also varied in the datasets and methods used, making comparison difficult. In this paper, using two data sources and two different methods for calculating expenditure indexes for the Medicare population, we compare the indexes produced and establish some results that will help guide policymakers in choosing indexes for this population. We compare two methods: the primary diagnosis method and a regression‐based method. The former is preferable because of its transparency but makes stringent demands of the data. We find that when the methods are applied to ...

Forthcoming: Calculating Disease-Based Medical Care Expenditure Indexes for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Comparison of Method and Data Choices, Anne E. Hall, Tina Highfill. in Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs, Aizcorbe, Baker, Berndt, and Cutler. 2017

 
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