UL Health Economics

1. Overview

The evaluation of programmes, procedures, and products in the Irish Health Care sector is just beginning with the inception of the Health Information and Quality Authority. This course is a starting point for anyone involved in the healthcare sector or in allied health services who needs to be introduced to the language of economics and economic evaluation.

The course explains how economists evaluate the costs and benefits of health interventions. We will focus on how health economics is used by decision makers in the health services, and in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. The course is aimed at producing practical skills as well as a broad conceptual overview by linking each new concept to a practical activity using Problem Based Learning.

No previous knowledge of economics is required or assumed. The maximum enrollment for this course will be 24 students.

2. Learning Outcomes

o To introduce key health economic concepts used in health economics.
o To give a practical understanding of the design, conduct and analysis of economic evaluation in healthcare.

3. Format
The next course will take place on Tuesday, July 24th..

This is a one-day course starting at 9.00 am and finishing at 5.00 pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

We divide the course into four sessions, each approximately 11/2 hours' long. Practical exercises reinforce the presentations. Participants receive a complete copy of the material presented before the class begins in a course pack.

o Session 1: Introduction to key health economic concepts.
o Session 2: Measuring outcomes.
o Session 3: Measuring costs.
o Session 4: Interpreting and using cost-effectiveness analysis in decision-making.

4. Module Breakdown

Module 1. Introduction to key health economic concepts

* What is economics? What has economics to do with the provision of health services?
* Types of economic evaluation existing in the Irish system.
* The economic theory of time preference.
* Practical: Performing a simple cost-effectiveness analysis.

Module 2. Measuring outcomes

* Economic measures of health status.
* Techniques used to value health states.
* Practical: Calculating Quality Adjusted Life Years analysis.

Module 3. Measuring costs

* Defining costs.
* Measuring and valuing resource use in an Irish healthcare setting.
* Which costs should be included?
* Practical: Calculating and comparing costs analysis.

Module 4. Interpreting and using cost-effectiveness analysis in decision-making.

* Incremental analysis
* Decision rules
* Priority setting
* Practical: Performing an uncertainty analysis

5. Course Fee
The course fee is 400 Euro, payable by cheque. Please make cheques out to Dr. Stephen Kinsella, ULhealtheconomics, returning the cheque and the application form to Dr. Stephen Kinsella, Department of Economics, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick.

Download an application form by clicking the link below:


About the instructor
Dr. Stephen Kinsella, B.A. (Mod), MA, M.Econ.Sc, M.Phil, Ph.D, is a junior lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Limerick. He is a health economist particularly interested in emergency intensive care health economics. His work has appeared in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Irish Medical Journal. Details on Dr. Kinsella can be found at www.stephenkinsella.net.

Department of Economics, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland. Email: stephen.kinsella@ul.ie.