Health Economics

Research Focus

Health Economics

This research focus addresses the supply side of health care markets, first of all inpatient care, in particular hospitals, rehab clinics, and nursing homes. Until recently, many of these institutions have been run in the fashion of administrative units rather than as enterprises. However, due to recent reforms there is substantial pressure on them to improve their economic efficiency. Against this background the annual “Hospital Rating Report” along with the “Nursing Home Rating Report” and “Rehab rating Report” is at the core of the research department´s activities in this field. On the basis of comprehensive data on the company level and supplemental publicly available data covering roughly 2 000 hospitals, 1 200 rehab clinics, and 11 000 nursing homes, these reports analyze the economic situation und prospect of inpatient care providers in Germany. Moreover, the research department is involved in various publically and privately funded research projects that analyze inpatient health care provision.

Health Policy

This research focus concentrates on the German health care system and politics and on the analysis of individual health-related behavior. In particular, incentives set by the regulatory framework and their effects on individual behavior are subject to empirical analyses, e.g. effects on the demand for preventive and curative health care. Moreover, determinants of unhealthy behavior such as smoking, drug abuse, and obesity are empirically addressed and policy measures intended to alter such behavior evaluated. For instance, the effectiveness of financial incentives for adopting a healthier lifestyle be reducing weight is currently evaluated by a large-scale field study. Another research project evaluates the effects of elective contracts and bonus schemes that have recently been introduced to the German social health insurance. Finally, with respect to the German health care system and its reform the research division aims at broadening the public and scientific debate by not only emphasizing the issue of how to cover increasing health expenditures but also by considering aspects of quality and efficiency.