nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2014‒04‒05
six papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. Financial Mechanisms for Integrating Funds for Health and Social Care: An Evidence Review By Anne Mason; Maria Goddard; Helen Weatherly
  2. Natural resources and the spread of HIV/AIDS: curse or blessing? By Olivier C. Sterck
  3. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
  4. The Wear and Tear on Health: What Is the Role of Occupation? By Bastian Ravesteijn; Hans van Kippersluis; Eddy van Doorslaer
  5. Specialty Drug Prices and Utilization After Loss of U.S. Patent Exclusivity, 2001-2007 By Rena M. Conti; Ernst R. Berndt
  6. The Nature of Surgeon Human Capital Depreciation By Jason M. Hockenberry; Lorens A. Helmchen

  1. By: Anne Mason (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Maria Goddard (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Helen Weatherly (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)
    Abstract: Integrated care is often perceived as a solution for some of the major challenges faced by health and social care systems. In these systems, 20% of the population accounts for 80% of the expenditure on care [1]. These ‘high users’ are typically people with one or more long-term conditions and who have complex needs that straddle health and social care boundaries; the population includes, but is not limited to, older people. By coordinating care at the level of the individual, decision makers should in theory identify problems earlier in the care pathway and shift care closer to home, improve the patient experience, prevent or reduce avoidable hospital admissions and delayed discharges, improve health outcomes and reduce unnecessary duplication of care. However, empirical studies of integrated care systems suggest that the reality falls far short of these high expectations. While some evaluations have identified cost savings or improved outcomes, most find no significant benefits, and in those that do identify improvements, the effects are small.
    Keywords: Payment systems, pooled budgets, joint commissioning, integrated care, systematic review
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Olivier C. Sterck
    Abstract: This paper answers two questions: “What impact have natural resources had on the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic so far?” and “What role can natural resource rents play in order to finance the long-run response to HIV/AIDS?” Using a panel dataset, de Soysa and Gizelis (2013) provided evidence that oil-rich countries are more deeply affected by the HIV epidemic. They concluded that government of resource-rich countries failed to implement effective public policies for dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In this paper, I show that their results are not robust and are spurious because the dependent variables and explanatory variables considered in their analysis are non-stationary. After correcting for these issues, I find no specific relationship between resource rents and the spread of HIV/AIDS. I conclude by discussing the potential of resources rents for financing the long-term liability brought about by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, natural resources, resource curse, epidemics, spurious regression, non-stationarity
    JEL: I1 I18 E6 Q32
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and occupational choice of workers in these sectors by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention – the offer of a workplace based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10% over the weeks following the mobile clinic visit. The study further investigates the effect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return occupations as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that includes health perceptions in the decision to supply effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to misallocate labor thus resulting in sub-optimal production and occupational choice. The results underline the importance of medical treatment but also of access to improved information about one’s health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower than optimal effort levels in lower return occupations.
    Keywords: malaria, labor supply, labor productivity, randomized experiment
    JEL: I12 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Bastian Ravesteijn; Hans van Kippersluis; Eddy van Doorslaer
    Abstract: Although it seems evident that occupations affect health, effect estimates are scarce. We use a job characteristics matrix linked to German longitudinal data spanning 26 years to characterize occupations by their physical and psychosocial burdens. Employing a dynamic model to control for factors that simultaneously affect health and selection into occupations, we find that manual work and low job control both have a substantial negative effect on health that increases with age. The effects of late career exposure to high physical demands and low job control are comparable to a health deterioration due to aging 12 and 19 months, respectively.
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Rena M. Conti; Ernst R. Berndt
    Abstract: We examine the impact of loss of U.S. patent exclusivity (LOE) on the prices and utilization of specialty drugs between 2001 and 2007. We limit our empirical cohort to drugs commonly used to treat cancer and base our analyses on nationally representative data from IMS Health. We begin by describing the average number of manufacturers entering specialty drugs following LOE. We observe the number of firms entering the production of newly generic specialty drugs ranges between two and five per molecule in the years following LOE. However, the existence of time-varying and unobservable contract manufacturing practices complicates the definition of "manufacturers" entering the market. We use pooled data methods to examine whether the neoclassical relationship between price declines and volume increases upon LOE holds among these drugs. First, we examine the extent to which estimated prices of these drugs undergoing LOE fall with generic entry. Second, we estimate reduced form random effect models of utilization subsequent to LOE. We observe substantial price erosion after generic entry; average monthly price declines appear to be larger among physician-administered drugs (38-46.4%) compared to oral drugs (25-26%). Additionally, we find average prices for drugs produced by branded firms rise and prices for drugs produced by generic firms fall upon LOE; the latter effect is particularly large among oral drugs. In pooled models, volume appears to increase following generic entry, but this result appears to be largely driven by oral drugs. Molecule characteristics, number of manufacturers and 2007Q4 revenues are significant predictors of post-2007 drug shortages. We discuss second best welfare consequences of these results.
    JEL: D04 I11 I18 L11 L65
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Jason M. Hockenberry; Lorens A. Helmchen
    Abstract: To test how practice interruptions affect worker productivity, we estimate how temporal breaks affect surgeons’ performance of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Using a sample of 188 surgeons who performed 56,315 CABG procedures in Pennsylvania between 2006 and 2010, we find that a surgeon’s additional day away from the operating room raised patients’ inpatient mortality risk by up to 0.067 percentage points (2.4% relative effect) but reduced total hospitalization costs by up to 0.59 percentage points. In analyses of 93 high-volume surgeons treating 9,853 patients admitted via an emergency department, where temporal distance effects are most plausibly exogenous, an additional day away raised mortality risk by 0.398 percentage points (11.4% relative effect) but reduced cost by up to 1.396 percentage points. These estimates imply a cost per life-year saved ranging from $7,871 to $18,500, rendering additional treatment intensity within surgery cost-effective at conventional cutoffs. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that after returning from temporal breaks surgeons may be less likely to recognize and address life-threatening complications, in turn reducing resource use. This form of human capital loss would explain the decrease in worker productivity and the simultaneous reduction in input use.
    JEL: I10 J24
    Date: 2014–03

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