Dr. Albert Okunade Published in Health Economics

For release:  February 6, 2015

Dr. Albert A. Okunade, professor of Economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Methodist-LeBonheur Center for Healthcare Economics, was recently published in Health Economics. His article, "Quality-quantity decomposition of income elasticity of U.S. hospital care expenditure using state-level panel data" was co-authored with Dr. Weiwei Chen, former FCBE economics doctoral student and post-doctoral fellow at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Dr. Gregory Lubiani, former FCBE economics doctoral student and an assistant professor at Xavier University, Cincinnati.

The research focused on the difficult to conceptualize measure and implementation concepts of healthcare quality, with emphasis on hospital care. The authors proposed and executed a US research methodology for decomposing a change in healthcare spending into its quantity and quality aspects. Results found that greater hospital spending induced by rising income buys huge amounts of care quality (input, process, and outcome) with advanced medical technologies. This research was the first scientific effort to successfully decompose US hospital spending which absorbs 31% (the largest share) of the $2.7 trillion (17.9% of GDP) annual US healthcare expenditures.

The article was invited by the National Institute for Healthcare Management (NIHCM) in  Washington, DC to compete for the 2015 annual national research award.