At the end of the module, students should be able to:|
- Explain how and why health and healthcare are like and unlike other economic goods or Services;
- Describe the role of supply and demand in a market economy in general and the nature of medical care markets, specifically;
- Explain the major aspects of health insurance and its role in healthcare;
- Understand and apply methods for handling of uncertainty in an economic evaluation;
- Understand the nature and relevance of modeling in health economic evaluation;
- Understand the concepts and goals underlying early Health Technology Assessment;
- Define how the healthcare system (and particularly the way it is financed) impacts social welfare and health outcomes;
- Connect economic concepts to real-life/actual phenomena;
- Perform a systematic review of the literature;
- Perform a critical appraisal of an economic evaluation;
- Design an economic evaluation study consisting of a well-defined research question, a comprehensive description of the competing alternatives, the perspective and time horizon, including a costing study and an effectiveness study for the competing alternatives defining all relevant costs and health effects;
- Design and perform an economic evaluation by integrating the analyses above into a cost-effectiveness ratio dealing with uncertainty and interpreting the results in terms of health care decision making;
- Ease into studying material regularly and consistently;
- Further increased independence (in particular in supporting elements of health economic evaluations);
- Further increased critical attitude (in particular when assessing design and outcomes of reported health economic evaluations).
This module will consist of the following subjects/taught parts:|
A. HealthCare Economics and Financing
The section HealthCare Economics and Financing introduces students to the principles and core concepts of economics applied to the healthcare sector. By recognizing the importance of scarcity and incentives, this course will focus on the critical economic issues in producing, financing and delivering healthcare. The course will start with an introduction on how markets work and how demand and supply reach an equilibrium when markets are perfectly competitive. It will then explain how the healthcare market is different from many other markets, and how this may result in market failure. Consequences of market failure will be discussed, with a focus on policy measures to improve social welfare.
In addition to the relevant economic theory, students will learn more about how healthcare markets are shaped, using the Dutch system as one of the examples. The role of health insurance is illustrated, including potential adverse effects and policies aimed at reducing these. In addition to efficiency considerations, the course will address matters related to the distribution of healthcare (equity considerations). After this course, students will understand how the healthcare market works and how healthcare policy aims to impact this. They will understand why economic evaluation is needed to guide resource allocation decisions in healthcare. Finally, students will be able to critically assess economic effects of alternative healthcare policies or interventions, based on a solid understanding of economic theory.
B. Economic Evaluation in Health Care
The course Economic Evaluation in Health Care provides an understanding of the basic principles of health economic evaluation (in particular cost-effectiveness analysis) in the context of welfare economics. It will help the student understand the various approaches to economic evaluation together with their strengths and weaknesses. An in-depth assessment is made of available methods (cost-minimization, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, cost-benefit) and the development of skills such as performing a critical appraisal of published economic evaluations, designing an economic evaluation study, and developing a (simple) health economic model.