Cost-benefit analysis (health care)
In health care, a cost-benefit analysis is a "method of comparing the cost of a program with its expected monetary benefits. The benefit-to-cost ratio is a measure of total return expected per unit of money spent. This analysis generally excludes consideration of factors that are not measured ultimately in economic terms. Cost effectiveness compares alternative ways to achieve a specific set of results."
Metrics used in cost-benefit analyses
Variations on incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER):
- Cost per year of life saved The definition of an acceptable cost per year of life saves ranges from $50,000 to $200,000.
- Cost of Preventing an Event (COPE). For example, to prevent a major vascular event n a high-risk adult , the number needed to treat is 19, the number of years of treatment are 5, and the daily cost of the generic drug is 68 cents. The COPE is 19 * 5 * ( 365 * .68) which equals $23,579 in the United States.
- Years (or months or days) of life saved (QALYs, QALDs). "A gain in life expectancy of a month from a preventive intervention targeted at populations at average risk and a gain of a year from a preventive intervention targeted at populations at elevated risk can both be considered large."
- Per person cost and benefit ( QALDs)
Standards in conducting a cost-benefit analysis
The two most common problems in publications of cost-benefit analyses are not stating the study perspective (e.g. is the cost born by the patient, health case system, or society) and not disclosing the funding source.
Difficulties in cost-benefit analyses
The costs saved by successful treatment of one disease may be offset by greater longevity leading to increased costs from other disease.
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