Contemporary public health professionals must address the health needs of a diverse population with constrained budgets and shrinking funds. Economic evaluation contributes to evidence-based decision making by helping the public health community identify, measure, and compare activities with the necessary impact, scalability, and sustainability to optimize population health. Asking “how do investments in public health strategies influence or offset the need for downstream spending on medical care and/or social services?” is important when making decisions about resource allocation and scaling of interventions.

Objectives:

  1. Describe the importance of evaluation in health economics in reference to constrained budgets and shrinking funds
  2. Determine the relationship between economic evaluation and health policy.
  3. Describe how public policy affects the health care workforce.

Assessments

Topic 6 DQ 1

Start Date

Assessment Description

Supply and demand encompass the health care workforce, just as they do any other service providers and constrained budgets and shrinking funds. Describe the role that public policy plays when discussing physician shortages

Topic 6 DQ 2
Assessment Description

Nursing shortages are a source of feared for many health care administrators. Describe what the nursing workforce is like where you live. (Your state board of nursing website is a good place to gain information.) Next, discuss what aspects are leading to an overall nursing shortage, and what steps are being done to counteract this shortage.

Economic Evaluations
Status
Upcoming
Assessment Traits

Requires Lopeswrite
Assessment Description

The purpose of this assignment is to describe the importance of evaluations in health economics.

Write a 750-1,000 word paper that includes the following:

  1. Describe the importance of evaluations in health economics.
  2. Compare and contrast the four types of economic analysis as they relate to health economics.
  3. Discuss how economic evaluations and health policy are related. Provide recent examples.
  4. Discuss the role of technology in economic evaluations.

Include an introduction and conclusion in your paper, and incorporate at least three peer-reviewed scholarly resources.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Further readings: constrained budgets and shrinking funds.

Contemporary public health professionals must address the health needs of a diverse population with constrained budgets and shrinking funds. Economic evaluation contributes to evidence-based decision making by helping the public health community identify, measure, and compare activities with the necessary impact, scalability, and sustainability to optimize population health. Asking “how do investments in public health strategies influence or offset the need for downstream spending on medical care and/or social services?” is important when making decisions about resource allocation and scaling of interventions.

In 2012, the United States (U.S.) total health care spending was $2.8 trillion (1). Most were used to treat diseases rather than prevent them, with only 2.7% dedicated to prevention (1). According to the National Association for County and City Health Officials and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, local and state health departments cut almost 60,000 public health jobs from 2008 to 2012 (23). Contemporary public health professionals must address the health needs of a diverse population with constrained budgets and shrinking funds. It is critical for public health professionals to use a comprehensive approach to decision-making. This article’s aim is to provide a framework for use of economic evaluation by public health decision makers at the local, state, tribal, and national levels. We describe types of economic evaluation and provide examples of economic evaluation used by two public health research networks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) Program and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded Public Health Practice-Based Research Network (PH-PBRN).

Evidence-Based Public Health and Decision Making

Public health professionals want to improve outcomes and minimize costs; evidence-based public health (EBPH) is integral in their decision-making process. EBPH is defined as “the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs and policies in public health through application of principles of scientific reasoning.” (4) EBPH uses the best available evidence, taking into consideration the population demographic characteristics, projected or tested program and intervention impacts, and estimated costs (56). Understanding the economic evidence of public health intervention is an integral part of EBPH. Economic evidence can provide insight into the value of public health investments to the overall health system. Evidence suggests that increased investment in prevention activities and improvements in public health practice and decision making produce measurable and sustainable health gains (7). A study of local public health agencies in California from 2001 to 2008 found that a $10 per capita increase in public health investment could save 9.1 lives per 100,000 (8). This translates to 27,000 deaths per year averted with an economic value of $212 billion or more than $100 of benefit for $1 invested (8).

Public health professionals have become skilled at considering the epidemiologic evidence of health issues. Epidemiology is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare and interventions. But public health professionals also have to consider environmental constraints, such as funding and capacity, when choosing where to focus efforts. Economic evaluation provides evidence of the feasibility of intervention scalability and sustainability. Determination of the costs and benefits of public health interventions provides data for public health professionals and decision makers to use when choosing which interventions are effective, efficient, equitable, scalable, and sustainable (79). Asking “how do investments in public health strategies influence or offset the need for downstream spending on medical care and/or social services?” (10) adds to informed decision making. Yet, economic evaluation remains a competency gap in public health decision making (11). To address this competency gap and prepare contemporary public health professionals, training for a public health profession might

• Offer elective courses on economic evaluation and public health economics in schools of public health

• Establish more post-doctoral trainings on economic evaluation and public health economics, such as the CDC Prevention Effectiveness Fellowship

• Include economic evaluation in Master and Doctor of Public Health (M.P.H. and Dr.P.H.) requirements and

• Provide continuing education for public health professionals at the local, state, tribal, and national levels through public health leadership institutes and training centers.

Economic Evaluation

What is economic evaluation? By definition, economics is the study of decisions, through the examination of program incentives and consequences, and the measure of service production, delivery, and consumption (12). Economic evaluation is defined as “the systematic appraisal of costs and benefits of projects, normally undertaken to determine the relative economic efficiency of programs.” (13) Simply put, economic evaluation is the understanding and use of economic evidence in decision making.

Economic evaluation contributes to evidence-based decision making in public health by helping leaders and the community identify, measure, and compare activities with the necessary impact, scalability, and sustainability to optimize population health (13). In the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “to establish an effective intervention package, it is critical to understand the full range of available evidence-based strategies, the size and characteristics of the population to be reached, the projected impact of each intervention, and the estimated cost” (5).

Trust and Ethics

ethical business practices web

Types of Economic Evaluation and Decision Levels

There are two levels of economic evaluation: partial and full (Table 1). Partial economic evaluation measures program or disease costs, but does not involve a comparison with alternative options and does not relate costs to outcomes. Partial economic evaluations include cost-of-illness analysis and program cost analysis. In public health, full economic evaluation compares two or more public health interventions through the examination of costs of inputs and outcomes (1415). Full economic evaluations include cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and cost-utility analyses (1415).  Talk to us for further information