Can data envelopment analysis provide a scalar index of 'value'?

Bryan Dowd, Tami Swenson, Robert Kane, Shriram Parashuram, Robert Coulam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The concept of 'value' typically includes a combination of cost and quality measures. Some approaches to incorporating value into payment systems treat cost and quality as separate dimensions, but policymakers have expressed interest in a single scalar index that combines cost and quality. Treating risk-adjusted cost as an input and multiple measures of quality as outputs, we examine whether data envelopment analysis input efficiency is associated with higher quality and lower cost in a sample of physician practices using 2008 US Medicare claims data from Colorado. The findings suggest that input efficiency might provide a useful scalar measure of value for a value-based payment system for physician services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1480
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Economics (United Kingdom)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • cost
  • data envelopment analysis
  • payment
  • quality
  • value


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