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QALYs versus HYEs - What's Right and What's Wrong

  • Ried, Walter
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    The last two decades have seen cost-utility analysis of health care programmes becoming increasingly popular, both at the theoretical level and in empirical applications. This certainly explains why utility measurement in health care has attained such a prominent position in the field of health economics. On the benefit side of changes in resource allocation, the twin aspects of morbidity and mortality effects are to be combined to yield an assessment in line with individual preferences. Thus, at least in theory, the utility of the people involved provides the yardstick with which to gauge health effects. In order to obtain economically meaningful descriptions of the utility impact due to changes in individual health, two approaches currently coexist on somewhat less than peaceful terms. The older one, the quality-adjusted life years (henceforth: QALY) approach, lends itself to empirical application fairly easily since several methods have been devised in order to capture the QALY impact due to health care programmes. More recently, its position has been challenged by the healthy-years equivalent (henceforth: HYE) approach, mainly on the grounds that the QALY approach be likely to misrepresent individual preferences for health effects.

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    File URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/1055/1/544.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre in its series Discussion Papers with number 544.

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    Date of creation: 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:mnh:vpaper:1055
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    1. Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1995. "QALYs versus HYEs: A reply to Gafni, Birch and Mehrez," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 39-45, May.
    2. Torrance, George W., 1986. "Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal : A review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, March.
    3. Bleichrodt, Han, 1995. "QALYs and HYEs: Under what conditions are they equivalent?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 17-37, May.
    4. Johannesson, Magnus, 1995. "Quality-adjusted life-years versus healthy-years equivalents -- A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 9-16, May.
    5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521335614 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1993. "QALYs versus HYEs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 311-323, October.
    7. Loomes, Graham & McKenzie, Lynda, 1989. "The use of QALYs in health care decision making," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 299-308, January.
    8. Gafni, Amiram & Birch, Stephen & Mehrez, Abraham, 1993. "Economics, health and health economics: HYEs versus QALYs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 325-339, October.
    9. Buckingham, Ken, 1993. "A note on HYE (healthy years equivalent)," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 301-309, October.
    10. Bleichrodt, Han & Gafni, Amiram, 1996. "Time preference, the discounted utility model and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 49-66, February.
    11. Olson, Mancur & Bailey, Martin J, 1981. "Positive Time Preference," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-25, February.
    12. Loomes, Graham, 1995. "The myth of the HYE," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-7, May.
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