Productivity and Technology Diffusion in Health Care

Award Year:
Jonathan Skinner
Cost Containment, Medical Technology
As U.S. health care spending continues to escalate, there is a vigorous debate about whether that extra cash is purchasing better health. Some feel the increased spending is driven by innovations in medical technology that significantly improve outcomes. Others believe health care costs are rising because money is being wasted on unnecessary treatment. Jonathan S. Skinner, Ph.D., believes that the relationship of cost to quality of care depends on where one lives and on who provides the care. He sees productivity and availability of technology as varying dramatically among different regions and providers. Dr. Skinner's project, Productivity and Technology Diffusion in Health Care, analyzes the treatment of heart attack patients since 1986, the use of cardiac stents, how variations in technology lead to health care disparities, and the link between technological progress and health care costs. Dr. Skinner's work should offer revealing insights into how medical technology is distributed through the health system and the effects on expenditures and health outcomes.