Aim: We analyze total operating costs and activities in Danish General Practice units to assess whether there are unexploited economies of scope in the production of primary care services. Methods: We apply stochastic frontier analysis to derive cost functions and associated cost complementarities between GP services and overall economies of scope. Data: Cross-section data for a sample of 331 primary care practices with 1-8 GPs from the year 2006. This is a unique combined dataset consisting of survey and register data. Results: We find a trend towards cost complementarities between the production of standard consultations and email/phone consultations. In contrast, we obtain insignificant anti-cost complementarities between standard consultations and home visits as well as an insignificant trend towards anti-complementarities between email/phone consultations and home visits. Overall we find positive economies of scope in the production of GP services. Conclusions: Our preliminary results show that there were overall economies of scope associated with the joint production of a) standard consultations, b) email/phone consultations and c) home visits. Cost complementarities between standard consultations and email/phone consultations outbalance anti-cost complementarities between standard consultations versus home visits and email/phone consultations versus home visits.
Sympositum I Anvendt Statistik 2011, 2011, p. 141-53