high probability portions of the population could be oversampled. He added that, if resources permitted, it may be possible to look at specific chronic diseases in which there are well-developed evidence-based processes of care. Even with fixed resources, there may be ways of differentially sampling the population in order to meet both departmental objectives and to help inform policies and programs at other agencies. Cohen reported that conversations have already begun taking place between BEA and BLS about how to help meet the needs that BEA has on the spending side versus the needs that arise on the industry side.
Looking down the road, the question of how big a hindrance to health accounting the lack of data representativeness will be is a major one. For research purposes, if partial pictures can usefully be explored, it is less of a problem. For the national accounts, which must be complete and national in scope, the problem is more severe and may require short-term compromises. For something like measuring quality change of treatments (discussed in Chapter 3), the satellite account methodology may have to rely on inferences based on more common diseases, at least for a while; this would seem better than no quality adjustment at all.