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Arch Hellen Med, 24(1), January-February 2007, 48-57


Greek studies of economic evaluation and efficiency in health care

1Center for Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens,
2School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Athens, Greece

The assessment of health care efficiency can be made at two levels, the level of health programs, mostly through economic evaluation methods and the level of health services, through benchmarking analysis techniques. Economic evaluation includes both full evaluation methods (cost-effectiveness, cost-minimisation, costutility and cost-benefit analysis) and partial evaluation methods (cost description, cost comparison and cost of illness studies). The prevalent benchmarking techniques involve data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). For this study, a search was made of MEDLINE and IATROTEK biomedical databases and a review was conducted of all Greek applications of the above methods published since 1993. The main conclusions from the analysis of the retrieved papers were that in Greece there has been little research in the field of economic evaluation, and that many of the earlier studies suffered from various methological shortcomings, stemming mainly from lack of adequate and reliable financial and demographic evidence. Greater comprehension is needed among the scientific community of the necessity for economic evaluation in health care. Coordinated effort should be devoted to integrating the results of the economic evaluation studies already available into clinical practice. Further research on the efficiency of primary and hospital care in Greece is also urgently required.

Key words: “Benchmarking analysis”, “Economic evaluation”, Efficiency.

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