AN ECONOMIC CONCEPT OF HEALTH STATUS
AbstractWhat is the best way to conceptualize and measure health status? It is accepted in the health economics literature that the best concepts of health status are morbidity measures (rather than mortality measures) because morbidity measures can capture aspects of the quality of life of the population as well as the individual. There is as yet no consensus regarding the best morbidity concepts or measurement methods. This paper develops a concept of health status in terms of the individual’s illness. The reasoning is that, at least for curative medical care, the appropriate concept of health status is a measure of how ill a person is. This paper proposes a variable termed severity-of-illness to represent how ill a person is. Severity-of-illness is a health deviation obtainable by comparing the person’s level of health when sick with the same person’s level of health when healthy. This illness concept of health status is in agreement with common usage.
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