SMDM CORE COURSE: INTRODUCTION TO COST-EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS
Course Type: Half Day
Course Level: Beginner
Overview: Health economics is the application of economic principles to healthcare, and cost-effectiveness analysis is the art and science of ‘smart shopping’ in healthcare. Many healthcare decision makers use cost-effectiveness analysis to inform their decisions in order to maximize value while staying within budget. This class will answer the WHO, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, WHAT, HOW questions related to cost-effectiveness analysis.
Background: These principles include (a) scarcity exists in healthcare; (b) scarcity forces choice; and (c) smart choices involve not paying more for something than it is worth (or more than is available in the budget). While these simple ideas seem trivial, they have profound consequences, especially in healthcare. Often, cost-effectiveness analysis is viewed in a less than favourable light by patients and physicians. This may be an inevitable consequence of the tension between economic reasoning designed to maximize society’s welfare and medical techniques designed to maximize an individual’s health outcome. As new treatments continue getting more expensive, healthcare decision makers will continue to use cost-effectiveness analysis to inform their decisions about how to spend scarce resources. Cost-effectiveness analysis offers a framework for an organized consideration of treatment options as we seek to balance the imperatives of treating disease without spending more than we should.
Format Requirements: This is an introductory level course; it is for individuals interested in developing their understanding of SMDM posters and presentations.
Description and Objectives: Our objective is that attendees will be able to explain more confidently what SMDM conference presenters have done, what they have found and what it means. We will practice identifying meaningful knowledge being conveyed in the four languages: Plain language, Math, Graph and Jargon. In addition, attendees will complete this class with the confidence to engage more thoroughly with the producers of economic evaluations meant to inform medical decision making. Lastly, we will review guidance documents featuring “best practices” for doing CEA.
Jeffrey S. Hoch, PhD
Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital
Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine