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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 23;8(4):e62840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062840. Print 2013.

Economic valuation of health care services in public health systems: a study about Willingness to Pay (WTP) for nursing consultations.

Author information

1
Unidad Docente Multiprofesional de Atención Familiar y Comunitaria Oeste. Gerencia de Atención Primaria, Madrid, Spain. jmfernandez@salud.madrid.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Identifying the economic value assigned by users to a particular health service is of principal interest in planning the service. The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of economic value of nursing consultation in primary care (PC) by its users.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Economic study using contingent valuation methodology. A total of 662 users of nursing consultation from 23 health centers were included. Data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health needs, pattern of usage, and satisfaction with provided service were compiled. The validity of the response was evaluated by an explanatory mixed-effects multilevel model in order to assess the factors associated with the response according to the welfare theory. Response reliability was also evaluated. Subjects included in the study indicated an average Willingness to Pay (WTP) of €14.4 (CI 95%: €13.2-15.5; median €10) and an average Willingness to Accept [Compensation] (WTA) of €20.9 (CI 95%: €19.6-22.2; median €20). Average area income, personal income, consultation duration, home visit, and education level correlated with greater WTP. Women and older subjects showed lower WTP. Fixed parameters explained 8.41% of the residual variability, and response clustering in different health centers explained 4-6% of the total variability. The influence of income on WTP was different in each center. The responses for WTP and WTA in a subgroup of subjects were consistent when reassessed after 2 weeks (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.952 and 0.893, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

The economic value of nursing services provided within PC in a public health system is clearly perceived by its user. The perception of this value is influenced by socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the subjects and their environment, and by the unique characteristics of the evaluated service. The method of contingent valuation is useful for making explicit this perception of value of health services.

PMID:
23626858
PMCID:
PMC3633834
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0062840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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