Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies
Description: Overview: This mini-course addresses economic evaluation in the health sector. This sector represents an important and growing part of the global economy. In 2013 the world spent US $7.83 trillion United States dollars on health care representing 7.1% of the global economy (GDP). This spending is expected to rise to $18.28 trillion in constant dollars by the year 2040 or 9.0% of global GDP. Shares of national economies devoted to health varied four-fold among countries in 2013, being 4.3% of GDP in one of the lowest countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 9.4% in Australia, and 17.1% in the United States. Economic evaluation can help policy makers to guide health technologies to provide good value for these outlays. The analysis is relevant to countries of all income levels. Technologies delivering good value deserve encouragement while those with poor value should be limited, insofar as possible. This new mini course, limited to 12 students, will use a hybrid format alternating didactic classroom sessions with practical field experiences. Didactic portion: In the didactic portion, the instructor will present principles and examples of economic evaluations. For the first two didactic sessions, students will have reading assignments and pass-fail Excel-based exercises to reinforce the skills outside of class. The Excel exercises will use basic functions, including copying cells, summing, averaging, and graphing results. Students wishing additional refreshers would benefit from consulting the Excel help functions or searching the web or YouTube for an explanation of a needed feature. The approach and results will be reviewed in the subsequent didactic session so that students will be able to evaluate their work. Field portion: For the field portion, the students will work in groups of 3-6 students addressing a real question with a client organization with which at least one group member has a connection. Outside of class students will be expected to engage with their fellow group members and the client organization. Potential client organizations could be insurers, health facilities, or government agencies or committee responsible for advice, policy or regulation. This client organization could be local, allowing in-person meetings, or distant, entailing contact via email, phone and video-conferences. At each scheduled class session related to the field portion, the class will meet with the instructor discussing their group projects. In the final session, each student will deliver a portion of his or her group’s presentation, which will indicate the question, approach, and findings.
Learning Outcomes: This mini-course seeks to teach students to (1) Analyze the cost of introducing or changing some health technology compared to the status quo. (2) Analyze the health impact of introducing or changing the aforementioned health technology compared to the status quo. (3) Ascertain the cost-effectiveness of the introduction or change in the aforementioned health technology compared to the status quo. (4) Use the study findings to indicate whether the proposed introduction or change in technology should be implemented to achieve good value in health.