Public Health Economics
Economics is the study of decisions—the incentives that lead to them, and the consequences from them—as they relate to production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services when resources are limited and have alternative uses. CDC uses economics to identify, measure, value, and compare the costs and consequences of alternative prevention strategies.
MV PICCS—the Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States—can help state decision makers prioritize and select from a suite of 14 effective motor vehicle injury prevention interventions. It calculates the expected number and cost of injuries prevented, lives saved, and costs of implementation, while taking into account available resources.
- Cost analysis of intervention/program, side effects, and illness. CDC economists have explored the costs of cancers, hospital-acquired infections, communicable diseases, and even an outbreak investigation for local health departments.
- Economic evaluation for comparing two or more interventions/programs in terms of costs or benefits; evaluations include cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost-utility analyses. CDC economists performed evaluations on screening options for diabetes, diagnostic options for HIV and TB, vaccine strategies, and injury prevention programs.
- Decision and transmission modeling includes developing and testing regression models, Markov decision-choice models, agent-based models, simulations, and theoretical mathematical models. CDC economists have performed modeling on vaccine strategies, HIV diagnosis and treatment, and state public health resource-allocation options.
- Regulatory impact analysis for anticipating and evaluating the impact of regulations on costs and/or behaviors. CDC economists’ work in this area includes analyzing the effect of required pre-travel medical consultation for international travelers.
- Budget impact analysis (BIA) for estimating the financial consequences of adopting a new intervention for local, regional, and national budgets. A BIA is usually performed in addition to a cost-effectiveness analysis to provide a comprehensive economic assessment of a new policy or programmatic intervention.
- Health impact assessment (HIA) for bringing together scientific data, public health expertise, and stakeholder input to identify the potential health effects of a proposed policy, plan, program, or project. An HIA offers practical recommendations for ways to minimize risks and capitalize on opportunities to improve health.
The following tools can be used to evaluate the costs and burden of various health problems and the effectiveness and efficiency of health programs. The tools were created by CDC and its partners.
- Page last reviewed: August 30, 2018
- Page last updated: August 30, 2018
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