Who Is Responsible for Your Health: You, Your Doctor or New Technologies?

46 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010  

Vincenzo Atella

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS); Department of Economics and Finance; University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Francesco D'Amico

University of Rome, Tor Vergata

Date Written: May 31, 2010

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to disentangle the roles that patients, physicians and technology can have on patient health outcomes using a large and detailed dataset of Italian patients collected by the Italian College of General Practitioners (SIMG) over the period 2001–2006. As our data show the existence of heterogeneity in the time needed to reach an optimal level of health stock, we study this measure of health outcome rather than simply the level of health stock. Limiting our analysis to patients suffering from hypercholesterolemia, the empirical work is based on two different analyses. We first explore whether patients recovering faster exhibit lower hospitalization rates and then we study the determinants of the speed of recovery to a good health status. The results confirm that a 10% increase in the speed of recovery can reduce hospitalization rates by about 1.0%. Furthermore, we show that recovering to a good health status is a multifaceted phenomenon, with technology explaining at best 62% of the combined effect, while patient and physician behaviors share the residual effect. These results are then discussed in terms of policy.

Keywords: Health Outcomes, Technical Progress, Physician Behavior

JEL Classification: I12, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Atella, Vincenzo and D'Amico, Francesco, Who Is Responsible for Your Health: You, Your Doctor or New Technologies? (May 31, 2010). CEIS Working Paper No. 167. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1618299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1618299

Vincenzo Atella (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
Italy
+39 06 72595648 (Phone)

Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Columbia 2
Roma, 00133
Italy

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
I-00133 Rome, 00133
Italy
+39 06 72595635 (Phone)
+30 06 2020 500 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/sefemeq/professori/atella/

Francesco D'Amico

University of Rome, Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy

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