An Economist’s Influence on Health Policy | SpringerLinkHealth economics is a branch of economics concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value and behavior in the production and consumption of health and healthcare. In broad terms, health economists study the functioning of healthcare systems and health-affecting behaviors such as smoking. A seminal article by Kenneth Arrow , often credited with giving rise to health economics as a discipline, drew conceptual distinctions between health and other goods. Health economists evaluate multiple types of financial information: costs, charges and expenditures. Uncertainty is intrinsic to health, both in patient outcomes and financial concerns. The knowledge gap that exists between a physician and a patient creates a situation of distinct advantage for the physician, which is called asymmetric information.
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Economics is the study of decisions—the incentives that lead to them, and the consequences from them—as they relate to production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services when resources are limited and have alternative uses. CDC uses economics to identify, measure, value, and compare the costs and consequences of alternative prevention strategies. It calculates the expected number and cost of injuries prevented, lives saved, and costs of implementation, taking into account available resources. The following tools can be used to evaluate the costs and burden of various health problems and the effectiveness and efficiency of health programs. The tools were created by CDC and its partners. County Health Calculator External Estimates how education and income affect health outcomes at county or state levels.
Applied Health Economics and Health Policy. Being a citizen of a small country Switzerland , my influence on policy was bound to be limited and mostly indirect. Otherwise, only six instances come to my mind where my work might have had a direct impact. The first was a popular publication prepared for Interpharma, the public relations arm of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry. The first issue described the health maintenance organization HMO as a possible innovation in Swiss healthcare [ 12 ].
Janine Hale, What contribution can health economics make to health promotion? Health promotion is an area that has been relatively neglected by health economists. There are a variety of reasons for this, including lack of demand by health promotion specialists, misunderstanding of what health economics has to offer the discipline of health promotion, misunderstanding of what health promotion is trying to do on the part of health economists, and perceived difficulties in applying standard economic appraisal techniques to health promotion programmes. In February , at a meeting of the research departments of the four territorial agencies at the time Health Promotion Wales, Health Education Authority, England, Health Promotion Authority for Northern Ireland and the Health Education Board for Scotland , it was decided that a position paper on health economics and health promotion would be useful. A meeting involving seven health economists from six universities and six health promotion researchers representing the then four UK agencies was held to inform this paper. Three broad areas were discussed illustrating the potential role for health economics in health promotion; these were economic evaluation, the role of economics in explaining and predicting individual behaviour, and economic policy and health promotion policy. This paper summarizes the main discussion points from the meeting.
This journal seeks articles related to the economics of health and medical care. Its scope will include the following topics: Production and supply of health services; Demand and utilization of health services; Financing of health services; Determinants of health, including investments in health and risky health behaviors; Economic consequences of ill-health; Behavioral models of demanders, suppliers and other health care agencies; Evaluation of policy interventions that yield economic insights; Efficiency and distributional aspects of health policy;. Applications to problems in both developed and less-developed countries are welcomed. Standard impact evaluations, costing studies and economic evaluation of clinical trials are not suitable for this journal. Benefits to authors We also provide many author benefits, such as free PDFs, a liberal copyright policy, special discounts on Elsevier publications and much more.
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