The steering committee for the workshop consisted of Barbara Fraumeni (University of Southern Maine, and formerly BEA), Joseph Newhouse (Harvard University), and Gail Wilensky (Project HOPE). The BEA-sponsored workshop included sessions covering the following topics:

  • Plans for a Satellite Health Care Account. Ana Aizcorbe (chief economist, BEA) presented the goals of BEA’s health accounting program, progress to date on the project, and a summary of BEA’s strategies for dealing with key measurement issues and data needs. Dale Jorgenson (Harvard University) and Matthew Shapiro (University of Michigan) served as discussants.

  • Constructing Nominal Expenditures by Disease. Charles Roehrig (Altarum Institute) provided an overview of work by him and his colleagues developing time-series estimates of national expenditures by medical condition. This type of data will be essential as health accounting projects move forward because the treatment for a specific condition or disease provides an organizing principle for defining units of service in the medical care sector. David Cutler and Allison Rosen were discussants.

  • Price Indexes and Volume Measures. Ralph Bradley and Bonnie Murphy (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index programs, respectively) discussed their agency’s plans to research and generate price indexes organized by broad disease category. Price indexes, which are used to decompose changes in current dollar estimates into price and quantity components, are essential for calculating real gross domestic product (GDP) for the various sectors of the economy. The Producer Price Index (PPI) program has developed a method to quality adjust its current hospital indexes by using quality indicators contained in the CMS Hospital Compare database. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program is generating experimental price indexes, also organized by major disease category, by merging medical expenditure and utilization data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey with the CPI production database of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jack Triplett (Brookings Institution) and Patricia Danzon (University of Pennsylvania) were discussants.

  • Measuring Treatment Outcomes. Mark McClellan (Brookings Institution) discussed the challenges of constructing measures of treatment outcomes, which are essential for monitoring the quality of medical care and, in turn, changes in the real output of the sector. He also provided an assessment of the current state of knowledge evident in the outcomes research literature and of how that information is influencing relevant policy discussions.

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