Introduction to Cost Effectiveness Analysis

SPH PM 807

This course examines the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) in health policy and medical decision-making. Students gain a working knowledge of theoretical and practical issues encountered in conducting and applying CEA, i.e. identifying costs and relative effectiveness and consequences of health care interventions (e.g., pharmaceuticals), prevention programs, and policies. Approaches to formulating the problem, adopting a perspective for the analysis, measuring costs, evaluating consequences, discounting, and reflecting uncertainty are discussed. Emphasis is on acquiring skills necessary for becoming informed consumers of CEA, learning to appraise published literature, and developing simple cost-effectiveness models. Case studies demonstrate the use of CEAs. Exercises highlight methodological issues and the development of models in several in-class computer lab sessions. The computer lab sessions offer hands-on experience with the design of models in TreeAge and Microsoft Excel. The class is appropriate for students in the Pharmaceuticals Program. Students who take PM855 may not take PM807.

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