Postgraduate

HSC8027 : Health Economics

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to economic thinking and techniques which are of use in formulating and analysing health policy.

Day 1 of the module will outline the economic theory of the demand and supply of health.

Day 2 of the module will describe markets, market failure and, equity, and then introduce economic evaluation which is a type of economic analysis used to inform decision making.

Day 3 of the module will discuss costing methods in economic evaluation and will introduce health outcome valuation.

Day 4 will cover different types of health outcome valuation techniques used to inform economic evaluation.

Day 5 will introduce economic modelling, which is used to estimate outcomes of health care interventions in economic evaluations not solely based on the outcomes reported in single clinical studies. There will be an overview of economic evaluation methods covered over days 2-5, including modelling assumptions

Day 6 will include an economic evaluation exercise, an introduction to priority settings and an introduction to the interpretation of results from an econometric analysis (a regression analysis applied in economics)

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide an introduction to some fundamental concepts of economics that are relevant for health policy decision making and analysis. Health economic studies are widely used in the UK to inform treatment guidelines and the organization of health services to maximise the health of the population and to improve equity. The first and second days will focus on how markets work, why they fail in healthcare, equity issues in health care and an introduction to health economics and economic evaluation. The three main types of economic evaluation (cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis and cost-benefit analysis), how and when they should be applied, and their pros and cons will be discussed. The third and fourth days will start with a costing session which will include the definitions of costs and how costs can be identified, measured, and valued in an economic evaluation. This will be followed by the different methods for measuring benefits in economic evaluation, including QALYs. The next topic covered will be preference elicitation methods, specifically focusing on contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments. There will be a group exercise and discussion on outcomes. The fifth and sixth days will start with an introduction to economic modelling which will cover the purpose of modelling, the basic principles, examples of differences between economic evaluations with economic models and economic evaluations based on a single clinical study, and how decision uncertainty can be evaluated. There will then be a session on economic evaluation and applying all of the theory learned over the days 3 and 4, followed by a group exercise and discussion.. An overview of priority settings will then be provided. This session will discuss the tools used to facilitate healthcare decisions at a local level. The last session will be on how to interpret and critically appraise the results of an econometric analysis (a regression analysis applied in economics).

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Non-Synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching141:0014:00Synchronous online: interactive sessions and group work
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study701:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00PIP: interactive lectures and group work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00PIP: Assignment surgery
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching and learning methods used, with the emphasis on practical activities in small groups and general interaction, were felt the most appropriate methods for a masters course with relatively small student numbers. Most of the students have significant experience of working in the health service, and the interactive nature of the learning methods enables them to discuss their experience and to relate that to the concepts and ideas being taught, thus aiding their knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is a 2000 word assignment split evenly between two essays. The two essays cover applied topic in health economics to provide students with the opportunity to apply economic theory to practice. This type of assignment allows students to utilise their analytical skills and knowledge of theory.

Reading Lists

Timetable