Introduction to the Principles of Health Economics
Run by School of Medical and Health Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Jaci Huws
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose of this module is to give students an understanding of the key concepts of scarcity, choice and opportunity cost in health economics. This module aims to introduce students to macroeconomics, the role and nature of markets in health and social care, and the different methods for financing and delivering health care (with international examples). Students will learn why health care is different from other economic goods and services. Students will be introduced to the four main methods of economic evaluation and will gain an understanding of the factors that determine supply and demand for health care. Students will learn how to interpret published economic evaluation studies, and will be introduced to the current debate over the meaning of equity and rationing in health care (illustrated with international examples).
The module will cover the following topics: principles of economics, introduction to health economics, systems of health care finance and delivery (international examples), methods of economic evaluation, measuring outcomes in health economics (willingness to pay, QALYs), interpreting published economic studies, use of modelling and statistics in health economics, equity in health and health care, rationing and priority setting. This module uses a range of interactive teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars, discussions and e-learning.
This module is core to a number of pathways, complementing modules such as research methods (quantitative and qualitative).
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a possibility that this course will be taught online, or through a combination of online and face-to-face teaching in the coming academic year.
Topics may include:
- Principles of economics
- Introduction to Health Economics
- Systems of health care finance and delivery
- Methods of economic evaluation
- Measuring outcomes in Health Economics
- Interpreting published economic studies
- Process utility in healthcare – discrete choice experiments
- Use of modelling and statistics in Health Economics
- Equity in health and health care, rationing and priority setting
- Public health and economic evaluation
C- to C+
Basic understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Basic understanding of professional accountability issues. In order to achieve a ‘pass’ on the module, students will be required to achieve a minimum of C- grade in each of the exam, critical appraisal assignment and class presentation.
B- to B+
Good understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Good understanding of professional accountability issues. In order to achieve a ‘good pass’ on the module, students will be required to achieve an average of B- grade across the exam, critical appraisal assignment and class presentation.
A- to A*
Very good understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module and evidence of additional evidence gained by the student. Very good understanding of professional accountability issues. In order to achieve an ‘excellent pass’ on the module, students will be required to achieve an average of A- grade in across of the exam, critical appraisal assignment and class presentation.
Appropriately identify and discuss economic data in order to understand the financial implications of key health and social care issues.
Interpret and critically appraise published economic studies
Understand concepts of equity in healthcare, rationing and priority setting
Understand the additional challenges of economic evaluation of public health interventions
Critically explore and discuss the origins, context and scope of Health Economics
Understand the systems of health care finance and delivery
Appropriately identify and examine methods of measuring outcomes in Health Economics
Critically evaluate the key principles and uses of health economics.
Understand and critically engage with debates on the use of market elements in health and care services commissioning, evaluation and improvement.
|EXAM||MCQ and short answer questions invigilated exam||
The exam will be divided into two parts: in the first part students will be asked to answer a range of multiple-choice questions. In the second part student will be asked to answer a range of short answer questions. All of the questions will relate to concepts taught in the module. Students will have 2 hours to complete the exam.
|ESSAY||A critical appraisal of a published economic evaluation||
Students will be asked to critically appraise a published journal article relating to an economic evaluation. Students will be provided with a critical appraisal checklist to help structure their assignments. At the end of the assignment, students will be asked to write a short lay summary (targeted at a general public audience) summarising the journal article.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Seminars = 10 hours (1 hour per week over 10 weeks)
Lectures = 20 hours (2 hours per week over 10 weeks)
Private study for reading and examination preparation.
Directed learning: e-learning (blackboard) - 10 hours
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Resource implications for students
1. Purchase of text books, pens and paper. 2. Photocopying and printing 3. Subscription to internet provider to access BU on-line catalogues and Blackboard from home residence.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/nhs-4003.html
Reading lists will be available and updated via Talis for each academic year. This online database is module specific, and contains references to material that is current and topical (and includes electronically accessible material). http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/nhs-4003.html
Edwards, R.T. and McIntosh, E. (2019). Applied Health Economics for Public Health Practice and Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Phillips, C.J. (2005). Health Economics: An Introduction for Health Professionals. London: BMJ Books.
(Both are available from the library and amazon)
Morris, S., Devlin, N. and Parkin, D. (2012). Economic Analysis in Health Care. John Wiley & Sons: Chichester.
Drummond, MF., Sculpher, MJ., Claxton, K., Stoddart, GL. and Torrance, GW. (2015). Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes (4th Edition). Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications.
http://www.nice.org.uk The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) is a useful resource for those interested in the practice of economic evaluation and its use on decision-making
www.doh.gov.uk The Department of Health website contains a vast amount of information on the NHS and on health policy.
http://www.pssru.ac.uk/ The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) has cost data for a range of health and social care services.
www.euroqol.org The EuroQol Group website has information on measuring and valuing health and references to papers using the EQ-5D.
http://www.healthknowledge.org.uk/public-health-textbook An online public health textbook that covers all the public health skills and competencies of the UK Faculty of Public Health.