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The Economic Value of Caring

Issel, L. Michele; Kahn, David

Health Care Management Review: October 1998 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 43-53

A heuristic method for monetizing effects of caring is presented. Practitioners' caring behaviors have economic value to health care organizations through effects on patient satisfaction, physiology, self-disclosure, and self-esteem, and subsequent use of medications, laboratory tests, and procedures. These effects are monetized as revenues generated, costs avoided, costs reduced, and externalities.

L. Michele Issel, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.A.A., is Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois.

David Kahn, Ph.D., R.N., is Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, Austin, Texas.

The authors thank Deborah Mier for inspiration and comments; Robert Hardy for cost information; Pi-Ching Hsieh, Hui-Fang Su, and two anonymous reviewers for insightful feedback on earlier drafts. An earlier version of this article presented at Health Care Administration Division, Academy of Management 1997 Annual Meeting.

Copyright © 1998 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.