Special Issue "Health Care Management and Cost Estimation"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 10669

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Thomas G. Poder
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Interests: efficiency; health related quality of life; cost; health preferences; health technology assessment
Prof. Maude Laberge
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Administration, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada
Interests: health system performance; efficiency; health policy; resource allocation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cost-efficiency is a cornerstone in healthcare management. Facing hard budget constraints, decision-makers must make the best use of the resources dedicated to the section of healthcare they lead. In this aim, they benefit from the use of many instruments, from cost-minimization to cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). One of their main challenge is to perform trade-offs that consider the values and preferences of the stakeholders. To date, plenty of research is conducted in this field and relates, for example, to instrument development to measure cost, risk assessment, data management, etc. This Special Issue is open to the subject area of healthcare management and cost-efficiency. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest. 

Prof. Dr. Thomas G. Poder
Prof. Maude Laberge
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Healthcare management
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Quality-adjusted life-year
  • Health preference
  • Health technology assessment
  • Health care
  • Health economics
  • Decision making
  • Patient-oriented research
  • Health policy

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Article
An Empirical Analysis of Income Elasticity of Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Expenditure in Mauritius
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010101 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 291
Abstract
A free universal healthcare provision exists in Mauritius. Yet the share of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure out of total household expenditure has been growing over time. This study estimates income elasticity of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure using Mauritian household data within an Engel curve framework. [...] Read more.
A free universal healthcare provision exists in Mauritius. Yet the share of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure out of total household expenditure has been growing over time. This study estimates income elasticity of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure using Mauritian household data within an Engel curve framework. In the absence of longitudinal data on out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure patterns, the study proposes the application of the pseudo-panel approach using cross-sectional Household Budget Survey waves from 1996/97 to 2017. Income elasticity of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is estimated to be 0.938, which is just below unity. This implies that out-of-pocket healthcare demand is not considered to be a luxury, but a necessity in Mauritius. In order to see the differences in income elasticities by income groups, separate regressions are estimated for each income quartile over different years. The results indicate that income elasticities of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure vary non-monotonically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Healthcare Warranty Policies Optimization for Chronic Diseases Based on Delay Time Concept
Healthcare 2021, 9(8), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9081088 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Warranties for healthcare can be greatly beneficial for cost reductions and improvements in patient satisfaction. Under healthcare warranties, healthcare providers receive a lump sum payment for the entire care episode, which covers a bundle of healthcare services, including treatment decisions during initial hospitalization [...] Read more.
Warranties for healthcare can be greatly beneficial for cost reductions and improvements in patient satisfaction. Under healthcare warranties, healthcare providers receive a lump sum payment for the entire care episode, which covers a bundle of healthcare services, including treatment decisions during initial hospitalization and subsequent readmissions, as well as disease-monitoring plans composed of periodic follow-ups. Higher treatment intensities and more radical monitoring strategies result in higher medical costs, but high treatment intensities reduce the baseline readmission rates. This study intends to provide a systematic optimization framework for healthcare warranty policies. In this paper, the proposed model allows healthcare providers to determine the optimal combination of treatment decisions and disease-monitoring policies to minimize the total expected healthcare warranty cost over the prespecified period. Given the nature of the disease progression, we introduced a delay time model to simulate the progression of chronic diseases. Based on this, we formulated an accumulated age model to measure the effect of follow-up on the patient’s readmission risk. By means of the proposed model, the optimal treatment intensity and the monitoring policy can be derived. A case study of pediatric type 1 diabetes mellitus is presented to illustrate the applicability of the proposed model. The findings could form the basis of developing effective healthcare warranty policies for patients with chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Qualitative Study of Community Pharmacists’ and General Practitioners’ Views toward Pharmacovigilance in Lithuania
Healthcare 2021, 9(8), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9081072 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Lithuania is the leader in pharmacovigilance among the three Baltic countries. However, comparisons with other European countries are difficult because the reported number of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in Lithuania is too low to rely on in terms of the annual use of [...] Read more.
Lithuania is the leader in pharmacovigilance among the three Baltic countries. However, comparisons with other European countries are difficult because the reported number of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in Lithuania is too low to rely on in terms of the annual use of medicines by the population over the year. The aim of this study was to explore challenges related to the understanding and practices of general practitioners and community pharmacists in reporting ADRs in Lithuania. The qualitative study approach of face-to-face interviews was used. All interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed. Twelve interviews with general practitioners and community pharmacists were conducted from March 2020 through December 2020. All participants had a basic knowledge of pharmacovigilance, but only four participants reported ADRs to the interviewer. Six main barriers regarding ADR reporting were identified, and appropriate interventions were suggested. The importance of collaboration between physicians and pharmacists was highlighted, and the need for guidelines supporting collaboration was expressed. Medications are becoming more complex, and comprehensive medication management is key for the optimization of patient outcomes. Our results reveal the need to improve and innovate the current pharmacovigilance system at all levels, starting from education for pharmacy and healthcare students and continuing through the development of ADR procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
Article
Activating Partnership Assets to Produce Synergy in Primary Health Care: A Mixed Methods Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(8), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9081060 - 18 Aug 2021
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Partnerships are an important mechanism to tackle complex problems that extend beyond traditional organizational divides. Partnerships are widely endorsed, but there is a need to strengthen the evidence base relating to claims of their effectiveness. This article presents findings from a mixed methods [...] Read more.
Partnerships are an important mechanism to tackle complex problems that extend beyond traditional organizational divides. Partnerships are widely endorsed, but there is a need to strengthen the evidence base relating to claims of their effectiveness. This article presents findings from a mixed methods study conducted with the aim of understanding partnership processes and how various partnership factors contribute to partnership effectiveness. The study involved five multi-stakeholder partnerships in Canada and Australia working towards improving accessibility to primary health care for vulnerable populations. Qualitative data were collected through the observation of 14 partnership meetings and individual semi-structured interviews (n = 16) and informed the adaptation of an existing Partnership Self-Assessment Tool. The instrument was administered to five partnerships (n = 54). The results highlight partnership complexity and the dynamic and contingent nature of partnership processes. Synergistic action among multiple stakeholders was achieved through enabling processes at the interpersonal, operational and system levels. Synergy was associated with partnership leadership, administration and management, decision-making, the ability of partnerships to optimize the involvement of partners and the sufficiency of non-financial resources. The Partnership Synergy framework was useful in assessing the intermediate outcomes of ongoing partnerships when it was too early to assess the achievement of long-term intended outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Healthcare Expenditures Associated with Heart Failure in Saudi Arabia: A Cost of Illness Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(8), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9080988 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
Heart failure (HF) is considered to be a global health problem that generates a significant economic burden. Despite the growing prevalence in Saudi Arabia, the economic burden of HF is not well studied. The aim of this study was to estimate the health [...] Read more.
Heart failure (HF) is considered to be a global health problem that generates a significant economic burden. Despite the growing prevalence in Saudi Arabia, the economic burden of HF is not well studied. The aim of this study was to estimate the health care expenditures associated with HF in Saudi Arabia from a social perspective. We conducted a multicenter cost of illness (COI) study in two large governmental centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia using 369 HF patients. A COI model was developed in order to estimate the direct medical costs associated with HF. The indirect costs of HF were estimated based on a human capital approach. Descriptive and inferential statistics were analyzed. The direct medical cost per HF patient was $9563. Hospitalization costs were the major driver in total spending, followed by medication and diagnostics costs. The cost significantly increased in line with the disease progression, ranging from $3671 in class I to $16,447 in class IV. The indirect costs per working HF patient were $4628 due to absenteeism, and $6388 due to presenteeism. The economic burden of HF is significantly high in Saudi Arabia. Decision makers need to focus on allocating resources towards strategies that prevent frequent hospitalizations and improve HF management and patient outcomes in order to lower the growing economic burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Care Strategies for Reducing Hospital Readmissions Using Stochastic Programming
Healthcare 2021, 9(8), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9080940 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 565
Abstract
A hospital readmission occurs when a patient has an unplanned admission to a hospital within a specific time period of discharge from an earlier or initial hospital stay. Preventable readmissions have turned into a critical challenge for the healthcare system globally, and hospitals [...] Read more.
A hospital readmission occurs when a patient has an unplanned admission to a hospital within a specific time period of discharge from an earlier or initial hospital stay. Preventable readmissions have turned into a critical challenge for the healthcare system globally, and hospitals seek care strategies that reduce the readmission burden. Some countries have developed hospital readmission reduction policies, and in some cases, these policies impose financial penalties for hospitals with high readmission rates. Decision models are needed to help hospitals identify care strategies that avoid financial penalties, yet maintain balance among quality of care, the cost of care, and the hospital’s readmission reduction goals. We develop a multi-condition care strategy model to help hospitals prioritize treatment plans and allocate resources. The stochastic programming model has probabilistic constraints to control the expected readmission probability for a set of patients. The model determines which care strategies will be the most cost-effective and the extent to which resources should be allocated to those initiatives to reach the desired readmission reduction targets and maintain high quality of care. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to explore the value of the model for low- and high-performing hospitals and multiple health conditions. Model outputs are valuable to hospitals as they examine the expected cost of hitting its target and the expected improvement to its readmission rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
The Impact of China’s Zero Markup Drug Policy on Hospitalization Expenses for Inpatients in Tertiary Public Hospitals: Evidence Based on Quantile Difference-in-Difference Models
Healthcare 2021, 9(7), 908; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9070908 - 18 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the Zero Markup drug (ZMD) policy on hospitalization expenses for inpatients in tertiary Chinese hospitals. Methods: Using the administrative data from hospital electronic health records (EHRs) between 2015 and 2017, we [...] Read more.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the Zero Markup drug (ZMD) policy on hospitalization expenses for inpatients in tertiary Chinese hospitals. Methods: Using the administrative data from hospital electronic health records (EHRs) between 2015 and 2017, we implemented the quantile difference-in-differences (QDID) estimators to evaluate the impact of the ZMD policy on hospitalization expenses while controlling for patient-level and hospital-level characteristics. Results: According to the QDID models, the introduction of ZMD policy significantly induced lower drug costs for all inpatients especially at the 50th (-USD 507.84 (SE = USD 90.91), 75th (-USD 844.77 (SE = USD 149.70), and 90th (-USD 1400.00 (SE = USD 209.97)) percentiles of the overall distributions. However, the total hospitalization, diagnostic, treatment, material and services expenses for inpatients were significantly higher for the treated group than the control group. This tendency was more pronounced for inpatients in tertiary hospitals with lower expenses (in the 10th, 25th and 50th percentiles). Conclusion: The implementation of ZMD policy alone may not be enough to change the medical service providers’ profit-driven behavior. The targeted supervision of hospital costs by the Chinese health administration department should be strengthened to avoid unreasonable hospital charges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
Article
Hospital Construction Cost Affecting Their Lifecycle: An Italian Overview
Healthcare 2021, 9(7), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9070888 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
The need for 24/7 operation, and the increasing requests of high-quality healthcare services contribute to framing healthcare facilities as a complex topic, also due to the changing and challenging environment and huge impact on the community. Due to its complexity, it is difficult [...] Read more.
The need for 24/7 operation, and the increasing requests of high-quality healthcare services contribute to framing healthcare facilities as a complex topic, also due to the changing and challenging environment and huge impact on the community. Due to its complexity, it is difficult to properly estimate the construction cost in a preliminary phase where easy-to-use parameters are often necessary. Therefore, this paper aims to provide an overview of the issue with reference to the Italian context and proposes an estimation framework for analyzing hospital facilities’ construction cost. First, contributions from literature reviews and 14 case studies were analyzed to identify specific cost components. Then, a questionnaire was administered to construction companies and experts in the field to obtain data coming from practical and real cases. The results obtained from all of the contributions are an overview of the construction cost components. Starting from the data collected and analyzed, a preliminary estimation tool is proposed to identify the minimum and maximum variation in the cost when programming the construction of a hospital, starting from the feasibility phase or the early design stage. The framework involves different factors, such as the number of beds, complexity, typology, localization, technology degree and the type of maintenance and management techniques. This study explores the several elements that compose the cost of a hospital facility and highlights future developments including maintenance and management costs during hospital facilities’ lifecycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Associations between Hospital Quality Outcomes and Medicare Spending per Beneficiary in the USA
Healthcare 2021, 9(7), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9070831 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 798
Abstract
The cost of healthcare in the United States has increased over time. However, patient health outcomes have not trended with spending. There is a need to better comprehend the association between healthcare costs in the United States and hospital quality outcomes. Medicare spending [...] Read more.
The cost of healthcare in the United States has increased over time. However, patient health outcomes have not trended with spending. There is a need to better comprehend the association between healthcare costs in the United States and hospital quality outcomes. Medicare spending per beneficiary (MSPB), a homogeneous metric across providers, can be used to evaluate the association between episodic Medicare spending and quality of care. Fifteen inpatient outcome measures were selected from Hospital Compare data among all (n = 4758) facilities and transformed to quintiles to ensure comparability across measures and to reduce the influence of outliers on the analysis. Both univariate and multiresponse multinomial ordered probit regression models were utilized across outcome domains to quantify associations between outcomes and spending. We found that MSPB was not associated with quality of care in most cases, adding evidence of a lack of outcome accountability among Medicare-funded facilities. Furthermore, worse outcomes were found to be associated with increased spending for some metrics. Policies are needed to align quality of care outcomes with the increasing costs of U.S. healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
Article
Comparing Public and Provider Preferences for Setting Healthcare Priorities: Evidence from Kuwait
Healthcare 2021, 9(5), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9050552 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 748
Abstract
As attempts are made to allocate health resources more efficiently, understanding the acceptability of these changes is essential. This study aims to compare the priorities of the public with those of health service providers in Kuwait. It also aims to compare the perceptions [...] Read more.
As attempts are made to allocate health resources more efficiently, understanding the acceptability of these changes is essential. This study aims to compare the priorities of the public with those of health service providers in Kuwait. It also aims to compare the perceptions of both groups regarding key health policies in the country. Members of the general public and a sample of health service providers, including physicians, dentists, nurses, and technicians, were randomly selected to complete a structured, self-administered questionnaire. They were asked to rank health services by their perceived importance, rank preferred sources of additional health funding, and share their perceptions of the current allocation of health resources, including current healthcare spending choices and the adequacy of total resources allocated to healthcare. They were also asked for their perception of the current local policies on sending patients abroad for certain types of treatments and the policy of providing private health insurance for retirees. The response rate was above 75% for both groups. A higher tax on cigarettes was preferred by 73% of service providers as a source of additional funding for healthcare services, while 59% of the general public group chose the same option. When asked about the sufficiency of public sector health funding, 26.5% of the general public thought that resources were sufficient to meet all healthcare needs, compared with 40% of service providers. The belief that the public should be offered more opportunities to influence health resource allocation was held by 56% of the general public and 75% of service providers. More than half of the respondents from both groups believed that the policy on sending patients abroad was expensive, misused, and politically driven. Almost 64% of the general public stated that the provision of private health insurance for retirees was a ‘good’ policy, while only 34% of service providers agreed with this statement. This study showed similarities and differences between the general public and health service providers’ preferences. Both groups showed a preference for treating the young rather than the old. The general public preferred more expensive health services that had immediate effects rather than health promotion activities with delayed benefits and health services for the elderly. These findings suggest that the general public may not accept common allocative efficiency improvements in public health spending unless the challenges in this sector and the gains from reallocation are clearly communicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
Article
Efficiency Comparison of Public Hospitals under Different Administrative Affiliations in China: A Pilot City Case
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040437 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
This study seeks to measure the efficiency disparity and productivity change of tertiary general public hospitals in Wuhan city, central China from the perspective of administrative affiliations by using panel data from 2013 to 2017. Sample hospitals were divided into three categories, namely [...] Read more.
This study seeks to measure the efficiency disparity and productivity change of tertiary general public hospitals in Wuhan city, central China from the perspective of administrative affiliations by using panel data from 2013 to 2017. Sample hospitals were divided into three categories, namely provincial hospitals, municipal hospitals, and other levels of hospitals. Data envelopment analysis with bootstrapping technique was used to estimate efficiency scores, and a sensitive analysis was performed by varying the specification of model by considering undesirable outputs to test robustness of estimation, and efficiency evolution analysis was carried out by using the Malmquist index. The results indicated that the average values of provincial hospitals and municipal hospitals have experienced efficiency improvement over the period, especially after the initiation of Pilot Public Hospital Reform, but hospitals under other affiliations showed an opposite trend. Meanwhile, differences of administrative subordination in technical efficiency of public hospitals emerged, and the disparity was likely to grow over time. The higher efficiency of hospitals affiliated with municipality, as compared with those governed by province and under other administrative affiliations, may be attributed to better governance and organization structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Analysis of SF-6D Health State Utility Scores: Is Beta Regression Appropriate?
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040525 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
Background: Typically, modeling of health-related quality of life data is often troublesome since its distribution is positively or negatively skewed, spikes at zero or one, bounded and heteroscedasticity. Objectives: In the present paper, we aim to investigate whether Bayesian beta regression [...] Read more.
Background: Typically, modeling of health-related quality of life data is often troublesome since its distribution is positively or negatively skewed, spikes at zero or one, bounded and heteroscedasticity. Objectives: In the present paper, we aim to investigate whether Bayesian beta regression is appropriate for analyzing the SF-6D health state utility scores and respondent characteristics. Methods: A sample of 126 Lebanese members from the American University of Beirut valued 49 health states defined by the SF-6D using the standard gamble technique. Three different models were fitted for SF-6D via Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation methods. These comprised a beta regression, random effects and random effects with covariates. Results from applying the three Bayesian beta regression models were reported and compared based on their predictive ability to previously used linear regression models, using mean prediction error (MPE), root mean squared error (RMSE) and deviance information criterion (DIC). Results: For the three different approaches, the beta regression model was found to perform better than the normal regression model under all criteria used. The beta regression with random effects model performs best, with MPE (0.084), RMSE (0.058) and DIC (−1621). Compared to the traditionally linear regression model, the beta regression provided better predictions of observed values in the entire learning sample and in an out-of-sample validation. Conclusions: Beta regression provides a flexible approach to modeling health state values. It also accounted for the boundedness and heteroscedasticity of the SF-6D index scores. Further research is encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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Article
Translation and Cultural Adaptation of the Patient Self-Administered Financial Effects (P-SAFE) Questionnaire to Assess the Financial Burden of Cancer in French-Speaking Patients
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040366 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
People living with and beyond cancer (PLC) experience financial hardship associated with the disease and its treatment. Research demonstrates that the “economic toxicity” of cancer can cause distress and impair well-being, health-related quality of life and, ultimately, survival. The Patient Self-Administered Financial Effects [...] Read more.
People living with and beyond cancer (PLC) experience financial hardship associated with the disease and its treatment. Research demonstrates that the “economic toxicity” of cancer can cause distress and impair well-being, health-related quality of life and, ultimately, survival. The Patient Self-Administered Financial Effects (P-SAFE) questionnaire was created in Canada and tested in English. The objective of this study is to describe the processes of translation and cultural adaptation of the P-SAFE for use with French speaking PLC in Canada. The Canadian P-SAFE questionnaire was translated from English to French in collaboration with the developer of the initial version, according to the 12-step process recommended by the Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Consortium. These steps include forward and backward translation, a multidisciplinary expert committee, and cross-cultural validation using think-aloud, probing techniques, and clarity scoring during cognitive interviewing. Translation and validation of the P-SAFE questionnaire were performed without major difficulties. Minor changes were made to better fit with the vocabulary used in the public healthcare system in Quebec. The mean score for clarity of questions was 6.4 out of a possible 7 (totally clear) Cognitive interviewing revealed that lengthy questionnaire instructions could be confusing. Our team produced a Canadian-French version of the P-SAFE. After minor rewording in the instructions, the P-SAFE questionnaire appears culturally appropriate for use with French-speaking PLC in Canada. Further testing of the French version will require evaluation of psychometric properties of validity and reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Management and Cost Estimation)
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