Using biomarkers to predict healthcare costs: evidence from a UK household panel
We investigate the extent to which healthcare service utilisation and costs can be predicted from biomarkers, using the UK Understanding Society panel. We use a sample of 2314 adults who reported no history of diagnosed long-lasting health conditions at baseline (2010/11), when biomarkers were collected. Five years later, their GP, outpatient (OP) and inpatient (IP) utilisation was observed. We develop an econometric technique for count data observed within ranges and a method of combining administrative reference cost data with the survey data without exact individual-level matching. Our composite biomarker index (allostatic load) is a powerful predictor of costs: for those with a baseline allostatic load of at least one standard deviation (1-s.d.) above mean, a 1-s.d. reduction reduces GP, OP and IP costs by around 18%.
Journal of Health Economics
Open Access; Under a Creative Commons license