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May 17, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


The primary objective of this content is to prepare students to read and interpret cost-effectiveness studies. The students will first be introduced to basic economic concepts that are needed in order to understand the recommendations from the United States Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. One example is the distinction between opportunity costs and budgetary costs. The recommendations will then be reviewed, particularly as they apply to what students should expect to read in cost-effectiveness research reports. Next, the relationship between cost-effectiveness results and other elements of the health care policy decision-making process will be discussed. More information will be provided on several aspects of how to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses. A critical discussion of several current articles demonstrating cost-effectiveness analyses will be an integral part of this course. When a student has completed this course, he or she will be able to read, comprehend, and perform a basic critique of cost-effectiveness papers and take part in discussions of planned cost-effectiveness research.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to do the following:
  • Read and interpret cost-effectiveness studies.


You must successfully complete Introduction to Online Learning (550.002.81), offered by the Distance Education Division. For more information and to register, visit the Introduction to Online Learning course Web site. There are no economic, budgeting, or accounting prerequisites.


Required Materials
  • Readings: Article readings are available via the Welch Medical Library E-Reserves System. Instructions on how to access course readings are provided on individual lecture pages.
  • Textbook: Prevention Effectiveness: A Guide to Decision Analysis and Economic Evaluation: Second Edition, by A.C. Haddix, S.M. Teutsch, P.S. Corso (editors).
You can buy the textbook from any online bookstore or through the Matthews Johns Hopkins Medical Book Center. Matthews Johns Hopkins Medical Book Center 1830 East Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 USA 410.955.3931 800.266.5725 410.955.0576 Fax http://www.jhumedbooks.com/

Time Commitment

On average, students should expect to spend six hours per week on a two-unit course at the School of Public Health.

Course Topics

This course covers the following topics:
  • Economic concept overview
  • Recommendations of the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine
  • Decision rules
  • Quality-adjusted life years
  • One year cost calculations
  • Multiple year cost calculations
  • Examples from readings

Course Format

Lectures: There will be eight lectures. Each lecture is approximately one hour long and is divided into three sections of approximately twenty minutes. Students will be expected to read materials relevant to each lecture before they view the online presentation. Practical Exercises: There will be three exercises that will help students understand the basics of how costs and quality-adjusted life-years are calculated.

More Readings

Reading List (21KB) This document contains a comprehensive list of all readings, including those for the live chat sessions.


Haddix AC, Teutsch SM, Corso PS (eds). Prevention Effectiveness: A Guide to Decision Analysis and Economic Evaluation: Second Edition. 2002. Oxford University Press.  
Session Topic Readings
Module 1: Core Concepts
1 Economics Concepts Overview Phillips KA, Chen JL. Impact of the U.S. panel on cost-effectiveness in health and medicine. Am J Prev Med. 2002; 22(2): 98-105. Saha S, Hoerger TJ, Pignone MP, Teutsch SM, Helfand M, Mandelblatt JS; Cost Work Group, Third US Preventive Services Task Force. The art and science of incorporating cost effectiveness into evidence-based recommendations for clinical preventive services. Am J Prev Med. 2001; 20(3 Suppl): 36-43.
2 Recommendations of the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine Ramsey SD, Moinpour CM, Lovato LC, Crowley JJ, Grevstad P, Presant CA, Rivkin SE, Kelly K, Gandara DR. Economic analysis of vinorelbine plus cisplatin versus paclitaxel plus carboplatin for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002; 94(4): 291-7. Ramsey SD, Kessler LG. Does economics matter when treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer? Oncologist. 2002; 7(3): 179-80. Roberts TG Jr, Lynch TJ Jr, Chabner BA. Choosing chemotherapy for lung cancer based on cost: not yet. Oncologist. 2002; 7(3): 177-8.
3 Decision Rules Schackman BR, Freedberg KA, Weinstein MC, Sax PE, Losina E, Zhang H, Goldie SJ. Costeffectiveness implications of the timing of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected adults. Arch Intern Med. 2002; 162(21): 2478-86.
Module 2: Quality Adjusted Life Years
4 Quality Adjusted Life Years Mahadevia PJ, Fleisher LA, Frick KD, Eng J, Goodman SN, Powe NR. Lung cancer screening with helical computed tomography in older adult smokers: a decision and cost-effectiveness analysis. JAMA. 2003; 289(3): 313-22.
Module 3: Costs and Calculations
5 Measuring Cost Over Time Samsa GP, Reutter RA, Parmigiani G, Ancukiewicz M, Abrahamse P, Lipscomb J, Matchar DB. Performing cost-effectiveness analysis by integrating randomized trial data with a comprehensive decision model: application to treatment of acute ischemic stroke. J Clin Epidemiol. 1999; 52(3): 259-71.
6 Multiple Year Cost Calculations Lieu TA, Ray GT, Black SB, Butler JC, Klein JO, Breiman RF, Miller MA, Shinefield HR. Projected cost-effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination of healthy infants and young children. JAMA. 2000; 283(11): 1460-8.
Module 4: Putting It All Together
7 Putting It All Together (with examples from the readings) Lee PY, Matchar DB, Clements DA, Huber J, Hamilton JD, Peterson ED. Economic analysis of influenza vaccination and antiviral treatment for healthy working adults. Ann Intern Med. 2002; 137(4): 225-31.

Course Curriculum

    • Lecture 1: Economics Concepts Overview 00:55:00
    • Lecture 2: Recommendations of the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine 00:55:00
    • Lecture 3: Decision Rules 00:55:00
    • Lecture 4: Quality Adjusted Life Years 01:00:00
    • Lecture 5: Measuring Cost Over Time 01:00:00
    • Lecture 6: Multiple Year Cost Calulations 00:00:00
    • Lecture 7: Putting It All Together 01:00:00
    • Home Work Assignments 00:30:00

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