Variability in healthcare treatment costs amongst nine EU countries

Supplementary issue of Health Economics focuses on the numbers

With ?health tourism? rising across the European Union, consumers, insurers and Governments are increasingly interested in the relative cost of common procedures in different countries. In an innovative and insightful collection of papers - to be published tomorrow as a supplement to Health Economics - a group of EU policy analysts and economists have addressed the issue of treatment cost variations using a ?case vignette? approach that standardises patients in nine European countries needing care for hip replacements, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, birth delivery, appendectomy, cataract and dental filling.

The comparison of cost components by vignette found that prices varied greatly. For example, the total cost of hip replacement per patient ranged from ?1290 (£948) in Hungary to ?8739 (£6422) in the Netherlands, with a mean cost of ?5043 (£3707). The large differences in cost and reimbursement for primary total hip replacement between Eastern European countries and other EU member states creates opportunities for cross border trade.

The supplementary papers (listed below) will be freely available on the Health Economics website (
from tomorrow.

*        Editorial: Variability in healthcare treatment costs amongst nine EU countries - results from The HealthBASKET Project by Reinhard Busse, Jonas Schreyögg and Peter C. Smith

*        The hospital costs of care for stroke in nine European countries by David Epstein, Anne Mason and Andrea Manca

*        Health service costs in Europe: cost and reimbursement of primary hip replacement in nine countries by Tom Stargardt

*        Cross-country comparisons of costs: the use of episode-specific transitive purchasing power parities with standardised cost categories by Jonas Schreyögg, Oliver Tiemann, Tom Stargardt and Reinhard Busse

*        Costs and prices of single dental fillings in Europe: a micro-costing study by Siok Swan Tan, W. en Redekop and Frans F. H. Rutten

*        What can we learn from a cross-country comparison of the costs of child delivery? by Martine M. Bellanger and Zeynep Or

*        Cost and reimbursement of cataract surgery in Europe: a cross-country comparison by Giovanni Fattore and Aleksandra Torbica

*        A micro-costing approach to estimating hospital costs for appendectomy in a cross-European context by Jonas Schreyögg

*        Variations in hospitalisation costs for acute myocardial infarction ? a comparison across Europe by Oliver Tiemann

Health Economics, published by Wiley?Blackwell, Wiley?s scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly business, is an international peer-reviewed Journal issued monthly in simultaneous print and electronic editions.

Media wishing to receive an advance copy of any of the papers should contact Jennifer Beal, Public Relations Associate, on +44 (0) 1243 770633 or

About Wiley-Blackwell
Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley?s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit or

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and websites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

Jennifer Beal | Public Relations Associate Wiley-Blackwell John Wiley & Sons, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester PO19 8SQ, England
t: +44 (0) 1243 770633 | f: +44 (0) 1243 770677 | e: or

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