Health Economics and Medical Decision Making

Effectiveness Assessment

Researchers at HSRC have an extensive background in studying, assessing, and utilizing health valuation techniques. We have developed and validated the QWB-SA, a widely used preference-based measure of health-related quality of life.

We have participated in numerous methodological and theoretical studies of the comparability of various economic utility-based and preference-based measures, the assessment of health values (ceiling and floor effects, ordering effects), partial questionnaire sampling, time preference for health, the strengths and limitations of the QALY concept, the calculation of QALYs, and others.

Cost Assessment

When a health intervention has been shown to be effective at improving health, it is important to also gauge the resources required to provide that health benefit. HSRC researchers have measured intervention and utilization costs in a variety of medical settings, using multiple techniques for estimating costs of retail services, personnel and benefits, and materials and equipment. Healthcare utilization is assessed via chart review,  administrative data review or patient self-report, depending on the study.

Utilization cost estimates are generated using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS or other organizations, as appropriate for the study. Once an appropriate utilization assessment is completed, costs can be assigned based on the perspective of the analysis.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments or health interventions is increasingly important for advancing medical science, informing public policy, and positioning medical products. Our expertise includes conducting cost-effectiveness analysis using advanced decision modeling techniques both with and without data from prospective, longitudinal trials.

We work closely with clients to design the optimal study specifications including costing methodologies, effectiveness measures, study perspective, comparators, and time horizons as well as using sophisticated sensitivity analyses to thoroughly assess the robustness of findings. In addition to having extensive experience measuring QALYs in the cost-utility framework, we also work with other tangible outcomes such as cases prevented, cases diagnosed, and mortality.

Modeling the Impact of Attitudes and Decisions on Health Behaviors and Clinical Outcomes

Health related attitudes and medical decision making are key variables in explaining health behaviors and clinical outcomes. Health service related processes and dynamics such as diagnostic screening and assessment, clinician-patient relationship, and treatment compliance/adherence, among others can affect outcomes.

We have been involved in a variety of research studies that captured these attitudes and decisions through our capabilities in questionnaire and program design, teleform data scanning, data management, data analysis, and call center management:

  • Evaluating the impact of tuberculosis diagnosis on physician medical decision making
  • Designing a program to verify accuracy of diagnostic screening and assessment
  • Determining the importance of clinician-patient relationship through questionnaire design in mental health studies
  • Observing the level of treatment compliance/adherence of patients in prescription niacin trials