Healthcare Economics Made Easy, 3rd Edition
By Daniel Jackson
Preface to the third edition vii
1 Health economics 1
2 Thinking like an economist 5
3 Cost minimization analysis 17
4 Cost-effectiveness analysis 23
5 What do we mean when we say ‘value’? 33
6 Quality of life 39
7 Health utilities 45
8 The infamous quality-adjusted life year (QALY) 55
9 Cost utility analysis 65
10 Evidence-based medicine 71
11 Critical appraisal 77
12 Systematic reviews and meta-analyses 87
13 Health technology assessment and the UK’s approach 95
14 Health technology assessment – an international comparison 105
15 Health technology assessment in the USA 111
16 Health technology assessment in the USA – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) 117
17 Health technology assessment and medical devices 121
Preface to the third edition:
This book was created for healthcare professionals and managers who need a basic understanding of the world of health economics and health economic evaluation, but don’t have the desire to become health economists.
Whether the thought of conducting an economic evaluation leaves you feeling queasy, or just plain confused, sometimes we all need to be able to understand why certain treatments have been chosen over other alternatives. To do this we need a working understanding of the methods and techniques a health economist like me uses every day. You don’t need to be able to build a complicated economic model, or to understand all the mathematics which can often go with these analyses, but you need to understand the approach health economists have taken to reach these conclusions.
This third edition has been developed in light of feedback I have received from students and readers who wanted more information about how health economics is used in the United States, and across the globe to guide healthcare policy and ultimately make key healthcare decisions. I have expanded on the US experience of health economics and updated the international examples.
This book does not assume that you have any previous experience with health economics. Even if the only economic decision you’ve ever made is from shopping on the high street, you will find that everything here is clearly laid out and explained. The ‘star’ system has been designed to help you go straight to the most important concepts if you are in a hurry.
I have also rated each of the concepts for how easy it is to understand. Sometimes, some aspects of health economics are very straightforward, while others may be very confusing first time around. I suggest you build up to some of the more complex concepts in your own time. Honestly, once you have a good understanding of these approaches, you’ll never stop thinking like an economist!