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Forum for Health Economics & Policy

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Real Output in Mental Health Care during the 1990s

Ernst R. Berndt1 / Alisa B. Busch2 / Richard G. Frank3 / Sharon-Lise Normand4

1Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

2Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital,

3Harvard Medical School,

4Harvard Medical School,

Citation Information: Forum for Health Economics & Policy. Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1558-9544, DOI: 10.2202/1558-9544.1040, December 2006

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Health accounts document changes over time in the level and composition of health spending. There has been a continued evolution in the ability to track such outlays. Less rapid has been the ability to interpret changes in spending. In this paper we apply quality adjusted price indexes for several major mental disorders to national mental health expenditure account estimates to assess changes in real "output". We show that using the new price indexes reveals large gains in real output relative to the application of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' indexes.

Keywords: mental health; price indices; real output

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