Measuring Health Services in the National Accounts: An International Perspective
Chapter in NBER book Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs (2018), Ana Aizcorbe, Colin Baker, Ernst R. Berndt, and David M. Cutler, editors (p. 25 - 52)
Health expenditure accounts for between 4 and 15 % of GDP in OECD countries and constitutes one of the most important expenditure items. We review the concepts that the System of National Accounts foresees for the measurement of nominal and real output of health service providers and compare practices in OECD countries. There is significant variation in countries’ methods although the degree of non-comparability is difficult to establish. We also present new estimates of cross-country comparisons of hospital service prices that are currently developed by the OECD. These draw on well-defined, representative case-types that are costed across countries. This is made possible by an increasing number of countries that use DRG-type approaches in health care administration. The increasing uptake of DRGs will also be instrumental in improving national accounts estimates of the volume and prices of health services.
Comment, J. Steven Landefeld
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