Introduction to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Clinicians

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Jennifer D Cape
Jaclyn M Beca
Jeffrey S Hoch


Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio, Economic Evaluation


As health care expenditures continue to increase annually, pressure rises to contain spending. Clinicians are partially responsible for cost containment and can help optimize spending by utilizing more cost-effective interventions. An understanding of economic evaluations, particularly cost-effectiveness analysis, will help physicians make well-informed decisions when choosing between different treatments for their patients. This paper describes different types of economic evaluations with a focus on cost-effectiveness analysis. A hypothetical study is included to illustrate how a cost-effectiveness analysis evaluation is performed. By understanding and considering the economic value of appropriate interventions, clinicians can ensure they are providing evidence-based care for their patients and the population as a whole.