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Fairer decisions, better health for all: Health equity and cost-effectiveness analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Cookson

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)

  • Andrew Mirelman

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)

  • Miqdad Asaria

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)

  • Bryony Dawkins

    (Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, UK)

  • Susan Griffin

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)

Abstract

This report provides a non-technical introduction to practical methods for using cost-effectiveness analysis to address health equity concerns, with applications to low-, middle- and high-income countries. These methods can provide information about the likely impacts of alternative health policy decisions on inequalities in health, financial risk protection and other health-related outcomes that may be considered unfair, allowing for the distribution of costs as well as benefits. They can also provide information about the trade-offs that sometimes arise between improving total health and reducing health inequalities of different kinds. We distinguish three general ways of using cost-effectiveness analysis to address health equity concerns: (1) equity impact analysis, which quantifies the distribution of costs and effects across a population by equity-relevant variables such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, location, gender, age and severity of illness; (2) equity constraint analysis, which counts the cost of choosing fairer but less cost-effective options; and (3) equity weighting analysis, which uses equity weights or parameters to explore how much concern for equity is required to choose fairer but less cost-effective options. We hope this report will raise awareness of the practical tools of cost-effectiveness analysis that are now available to help give health care and public health policy makers a better understanding of who gains and who loses from their priority setting decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Cookson & Andrew Mirelman & Miqdad Asaria & Bryony Dawkins & Susan Griffin, 2016. "Fairer decisions, better health for all: Health equity and cost-effectiveness analysis," Working Papers 135cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:135cherp
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Hill, Sarah R. & Vale, Luke & Hunter, David & Henderson, Emily & Oluboyede, Yemi, 2017. "Economic evaluations of alcohol prevention interventions: Is the evidence sufficient? A review of methodological challenges," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(12), pages 1249-1262.
    3. Helen Weatherly & Rita Faria & Bernard Van den Berg & Mark Sculpher & Peter O’Neill & Kay Nolan & Julie Glanville & Jaana Isojarvi & Erin Baragula & Mary Edwards, 2017. "Scoping review on social care economic evaluation methods," Working Papers 150cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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