Cost-Benefit Methodology in Medical Care
Comments on Three Papers Prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars
Download Free Electronic Document
|PDF file||0.7 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
Purchase Print Copy
|Add to Cart||Paperback9 pages||$20.00||$16.00 20% Web Discount|
Cost-benefit studies now measure the benefits of medical intervention as the utility a well-informed consumer receives, and this can be represented by the amount the consumer would be willing to pay for the intervention. This is in contrast to earlier studies in which cost benefits were measured by change in a discounted stream of earnings caused by medical intervention. However, the pendulum may have swung too far; the author argues that it is important to be clear why one is interested in costs — to make the most of society's scarce resources. Three papers, on tomography, X-ray for lower back pain, and rheumatoid arthritis, are discussed to illustrate cost-benefit analysis and decision theory. The author cautions against too much emphasis on cost without taking into account other values and benefits. It is important to be broad in the definition of benefits; anything of potential value to the informed consumer is fair game.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.