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Biometrika

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 97  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 147 - 158

Estimation of the retransformed conditional mean in health care cost studies

H. J Wang and X. H. Zhou

Abstract

We propose a new approach for analyzing skewed and heteroscedastic health care cost data through regression of the conditional quantiles of the transformed cost. Using the appealing equivariance property of quantiles to monotone transformations, we propose a distribution-free estimator of the conditional mean cost on the original scale. The proposed method is extended to a two-part heteroscedastic model to account for zero costs commonly seen in health care cost studies. Simulation studies indicate that the proposed estimator has competitive and more robust performance than existing estimators in various heteroscedastic models.

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