PUB HLTH 7082OL - Health Economic Evaluation and Decision Making
Online - Semester 1 - 2017
General Course Information
Course Code PUB HLTH 7082OL Course Health Economic Evaluation and Decision Making Coordinating Unit Public Health Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s Online Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Course Description The course is designed to give a broad and practical introduction to health economic evaluation and decision making. The course introduces the concepts underlying the economic evaluation of healthcare technologies and services, including outcome measurement and the assessment of opportunity costs. Module 1 reviews key concepts in economic evaluation, reviews the QALY as a measure of outcome in economic evaluation with a focus on cost-effectiveness analyses undertaken alongside clinical studies. Module 2 introduces the concept of opportunity costs in decision making and the assessment of value using cost-effectiveness data. The remaining four modules focus on the concepts and application of model-based economic evaluation to predict long term costs and benefits and hence capture all important differences between comparator interventions. The course covers the use of decision trees and state transition models, involving practical sessions in which participants develop, populate, and analyse cost-effectiveness models. The course provides state of the art knowledge on key theoretical and practical issues in the application of health economics to inform the efficient and equitable allocation of healthcare resources. On completion of the course, students will have the necessary knowledge and materials to undertake a basic health economic evaluation; to explore methods for more complex evaluations; and to critically review the conduct and validity of presented or published evaluations.
Course Coordinator: Professor Jonathan KarnonCourse Coordinator: Jonathon Karnon
Phone: +61 8313 3562
Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
Additional Academic Staff: Hossein Afzali
Phone: +61 8313 0615
Location: Level 11, 178 North Terrace
Student & Program Support Services Hub
Phone: +61 8313 0273
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
Interpret and appropriately apply the key concepts of health economic evaluation, including the strengths and weaknesses of the quality adjusted life year (QALY) as a measure of outcome
Debate the relative merits of alternative approaches to healthcare decision making and the estimation of opportunity costs
Understand the role, application and limitations of within study economic evaluation to inform funding decisions
Describe the components of a decision tree, have practical experience in their implementation and understand when it is appropriate to use a decision tree
Recognise the decision making contexts in which state transition models are appropriate and understand the process of defining model structures and assumptions
Identify relevant data sources required for the health economic evaluation of healthcare technologies, and experience in the analysis of data to estimate evaluation input parameters
Implement, validate, analyse and write-up the results of basic cost-effectiveness models, demonstrating sound knowledge and skills to apply analytic thinking to real world problem solving
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)
1-5 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
2-7 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
6-7 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1-7 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, 7 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
Required ResourcesNo single general textbook covers the whole subject matter of this course. Much of the reading resources for this course will besourced from peer-reviewed journals available electronically through the Barr Smith Library and from official and semi-official reports appearing on the World Wide Web. There will be assigned readings to complement the lectures and practicals. These readings will beavailable on the University Intranet (MyUni: https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/) to which all enrolled students will have access.
Recommended ResourcesAlthough the course does not follow a set textbook, the following two books are recommend, which can be used as general reference books for the topics covered in this course:
M Drummond, M Sculpher, G Torrence, B O'Brien, G Stoddart, Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes (3rd Edition) 2005; ISBN10: 0198529453: Oxford University Press.
The ‘blue book’, as it is known by health economists. A comprehensive account of all the methodological issues involved in health economic evaluation.
A Briggs, M Sculpher, K Claxton, Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation, 2006, ISBN10: 0198526628. Oxford University Press.
A practical and accessible introduction to the rationale and application of decision models as a framework for health economic
The online lectures provide links to a wide range of journal papers and other resources. The following journal papers have been assembled in the form of a ‘reading brick’. The reading brick brings together a selection of the linked resources to provide general background reading on health economic evaluation; model-based economic evaluation and decision-making using economic evaluation.
Health Economic evaluation (general & within study)
Simoens S, Health Economic Assessment: A Methodological Primer, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009; 6:2950-2966.
This paper provides a general introduction to the conduct of health economic evaluation, describing the main concepts or elements to be included in the evaluation.
Brazier J, Ratcliffe J. The measurement and valuation of health for economic evaluation, in International Encyclopedia of Public Health 2008.
General introduction to the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY).
Trial-based economic evaluation
Petrou S, Gray A, Economic evaluation alongside randomised controlled trials: design, conduct, analysis, and reporting, BMJ 2011; 342:d1548.
“collecting data at the same time as evidence of effectiveness maximises the information available for analysis but requires proper consideration at the design stage.”
Tay-Teo K et al. Economic Evaluation alongside a Phase II, Multi-Centre, Randomised Controlled Trial of Very Early Rehabilitation after Stroke (AVERT). Cerebrovasc Dis 2008;26:475–481.
A comprehensively presented economic evaluation alongside a clinical trial.
Model-based economic evaluation
Buxton MJ, Drummond MF, Van Hout BA, Prince RL, Sheldon TA, Szucs T, Vray M, Modelling in economic evaluation: an unavoidable fact of life, Health Economics 1997; 6(3):217–227.
An important summary of the rationale for decision modelling as a framework for health economic evaluation.
Roberts et al, Conceptualizing a Model: A Report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force-2, Value in Health 2012; 15(6):804-11.
Guidelines on the process of defining the model problem and model structure.
Karnon J, Brown J, Selecting a decision model for economic evaluation: a case study and review, Health Care Management Science 1998; 1: 133-140.
A descriptive comparison of alternative decision modelling techniques.
Briggs A, Sculpher M, An introduction to Markov modelling for economic evaluation, PharmacoEconomics 1998; 13(4):397-409.
An introductory paper on the most commonly applied health economic decision modelling technique.
Siebert et al, State-Transition Modeling: A Report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force-3, Value in Health 2012; 15(6):812-20.
Guidance on the application of state transition models for economic evaluation
Eddy et al, Model Transparency and Validation: A Report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force-7, Value in Health 2012; 15(6):843-50.
Guidelines on model reporting and validation.
Vemer P et al and the AdViSHE Study Group. AdViSHE: a New Tool to Report Validation of Health-Economic Decision Models. Pharmacoeconomics 2016; 34(4):349-61.
Framework for the validation of models for economic evaluation.
Briggs et al, Model Parameter Estimation and Uncertainty: A Report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force-6, Value in Health 2012; 15(6):835-42.
Guidance on the conduct of uncertainty analysis of model-based economic evaluation.
Karnon J, Vanni T, Calibrating Models in Economic Evaluation, Pharmacoeconomics 2011; 29 (1): 51-62.
An applied introduction to probabilistic calibration for model-based economic evaluation.
Decision-making (using economic evaluation)
Gafni A, Birch S, Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs): The silence of the lambda, Social Science & Medicine 2006; 62(9):2091-2100.
An introduction, and critical appraisal of the concept of a threshold ICER.
Mccabe et al, The NICE cost-effectiveness threshold: what it is and what that means; Pharmacoeconomics 2008; 26 (9): 733-744.
A critical assessment of NICE’s use of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) threshold.
Paulden M, McCabe C, Karnon J, Achieving Allocative Efï¬Âciency in Healthcare: Nice in Theory, not so NICE in Practice? PharmacoEconomics (2014) 32:315–318.
Discussion of theoretical and practical issues around the cost-effectiveness threshold.
Henry DA, Hill SR, Harris A, Drug prices and value for money: The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, JAMA. 2005;294:2630-2632.
Commentary on the use of cost-effectiveness in an Australian decision making process.
Online LearningMyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at The University of Adelaide. Students can connect to MyUni at
All course materials, including on-demand lectures, video solutions for practicals and recordings on the
real-time online sessions and other resources are posted in MyUni.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course gives a high priority to interaction between the student and the academic staff, and amongst students. The course comprises six modules. Each module includes four to five on-line on-demand lectures, each of which include multiple choice or short answer questions that are designed to check student comprehensive of key concepts. Each module also include an Excel spreadsheet-based practical in which students gain practical experience in the applying the content of the Module’s lectures. Detailed workbooks are published for each of the six practicals. Video solutions of course co-ordinator working through the workbooks are published and a live two hour on-line session is held for each of the six modules to discuss queries around either the lectures or practicals.
Students can also post questions and answers to a discussion board. Monitored by the course coordinator, students will be
encouraged to answer each other’s questions. Assignments provide an opportunity to undertake exploratory and in-depth analysis of the key concepts introduced in the course..
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements...
Learning Activities Summary
Module Content 1 Key concepts and components; Introduction to Quality Adjusted Life Years; Within Study economic evaluation. 2 Opportunity cost and the cost-effectiveness threshold; Decision trees for economic evaluation 3 Extrapolating costs and outcomes; State transition models; Defining model structures; Introduction to model implementation. 4 Estimating input parameter values (transition probabilities; treatment effects; costs; and utility values). 5 Uncertainty analysis (bootstrapping; defining probability distributions; forms of analysis;
6 Model performance evaluation (alternative forms of validation, with focus on model calibration)
Specific Course RequirementsN/A
Small Group Discovery ExperienceN/A
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COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S)
Within lecture multiple choice and short answer questions
Short answer questions on decision making and opportunity costs
Replication and analysis of applied cost-effectiveness model
Assessment Related RequirementsN/A
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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
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