Using DEA to estimate potential savings at GP units at medical specialty level

Emmanuel Thanassoulis, Maria C.A. Silva Portela, Mike Graveney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to identify benchmark cost-efficient General Practitioner (GP) units at delivering health care in the Geriatric and General Medicine (GMG) specialty and estimate potential cost savings. The use of a single medical specialty makes it possible to reflect more accurately the medical condition of the List population of the Practice so as to contextualize its expenditure on care for patients. We use Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to estimate the potential for cost savings at GP units and to decompose these savings into those attributable to the reduction of resource use, to altering the mix of resources used and to those attributable to securing better resource 'prices'. The results reveal a considerable potential for savings of varying composition across GP units.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalSocio-economic planning science
Issue number1
Early online date19 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Socio-economic planning science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Thanassoulis, E, Silva Portela, MCA & Graveney, M, 'Using DEA to estimate potential savings at GP units at medical specialty level' Socio-economic planning science, vol 48, no. 1 (2014) DOI:


  • DEA
  • price efficiency
  • allocative efficiency
  • cost efficiency
  • primary health care


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