PUB HLTH 7082 - Health Economic Evaluation & Decision Making

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

Health economic evaluation is increasingly used to inform decision making around the funding of technologies and services in all areas of the health service, and is an expected component of most research grant applications. This course explores the rationale, context, and examples of processes for the use of economic evaluation in health care, but the focus is on the development of practical skills and experience of methods for undertaking economic evaluation. The course is structured around detailed expositions and problem solving exercises relating to the sequential components of a model-based economic evaluation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7082
    Course Health Economic Evaluation & Decision Making
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description Health economic evaluation is increasingly used to inform decision making around the funding of technologies and services in all areas of the health service, and is an expected component of most research grant applications. This course explores the rationale, context, and examples of processes for the use of economic evaluation in health care, but the focus is on the development of practical skills and experience of methods for undertaking economic evaluation. The course is structured around detailed expositions and problem solving exercises relating to the sequential components of a model-based economic evaluation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Adjunct Professor Jonathan Karnon

    Course Coordinator: Jonathon Karnon
    Phone: +61 8313 3562
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Additional Academic Staff: Hossein Afzali
    Phone: +61 8313 0615
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 4637
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand theoretical basis for decision making using economic evaluation
    2 Recognise practical constraints, and responses to decision making using economic evaluation
    3 Understand the advantages and disadvantages of alternative methodological frameworks for economic evaluation
    4 Demonstrated experience of applying of all components of a model-based economic evaluation (implementation, population, calibration, and analysis)
    5 Understanding and application of model-based cost-effectiveness methods to performance measurement, benchmarking, and quality improvement in health care
    6 Demonstrated knowledge of alternative health care funding models and their relation to economic evaluation and opportunity cost
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 3, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Health Economic Evaluation and Decision Making reading brick
    Recommended Resources
    University of Adelaide Excel Online Course Levels 1 and 2 (for students with no prior experience of Excel)
    A Briggs, M Sculpher, K Claxton, Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation, 2006, ISBN10: 0198526628. Oxford University Press
    Online Learning
    TBA (this course will be offered on-line from 2015)
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The central learning and teaching approach is lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Three hours of face-to-face teaching has been allocated for each of the 12 semester weeks, comprising a mix of lectures, and computer and non-computer-based practical sessions. In between these sessions, students will be expected to consolidate content knowledge via assessed and non-assessed assignments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic Lecture
    Economic evaluation and opportunity cost Economic evaluation review; Decision making in theory; The centrality of opportunity cost, what is it and how can it be estimated?
    Decision trees When, where, and how to use decision trees as a framework for economic evaluation?
    Trial-based economic evaluation When, where, and how to use clinical trials as a framework for economic evaluation?
    State transition modeling When, where, and how to use state transition models as a framework for economic evaluation? The basics
    Sensetivity analysis What are, and how to apply, deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis methods?
    State transition modelling - extensions Parameterising clinical parameters
    State transition modelling - extensions Parameterising cost parameters
    State transition modelling - extensions Parameterising utility parameters
    Discounting costs and outcomes Why do we discount costs and outcomes, and how?
    Model calibration What is, and how to apply, model calibration techniques?
    Service evaluation and quality improvement How to use economic evaluation methods to evaluate services and inform quality improvement?
    Allocating resources in the real world What alternative approaches have been used to inform the allocation of scarce health care resources?
    Assignment review Providing support with respect to the final and main assessment task
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The problem solving elements of the course are undertaken in small groups, with close oversight from the lecturers to support discovery around the application of health economic methods.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Opportunity cost short Q&A assessment Summative 40% 1, 2, 6
    Staged application of a model-based economic evaluation Summative 60% 3-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment task 1 requires 2 to 3 sentence answers to 10 questions relating to the concept of opportunity cost: concerning theoretical and practical issues around the estimation of opportunity cost, and the use of economic evaluation to inform funding decisions.

    Assessment task 2 involves the replication of a published decision analytic cost-effectiveness model, re-analysis of the model to evaluate a newer intervention, and a report of the methods and findings.
    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted. Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the  student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact  on the student.  Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.  

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits.  In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.
    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process <>.  Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance.  This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result.  Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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