April Newsletter

Congress Update

To access the full PDF, please click here.

Early Bird Registration Has Been Extended to May 30!  

The IHEA congress, held every second year, is the only global forum for health economists to engage around the latest methodological developments, present recent research findings and explore the implications of this research for health policy and practice. The IHEA congress includes presentations across the full spectrum of health economics fields. 

We have extended early bird registration pricing, which was set to expire today, to 11:59 PM ET on May 30th! There will be no extensions past this date, so register before it’s too late!  

A reminder that it is cheaper to pay for a 2-year IHEA membership and register at the member rate than it is to register as a non-member! You can join online here before registering. 

You can register for the Congress here

Registration for Our Pre-Congress Program Is Now Open! 

IHEA is running an exciting and extensive Pre-Congress Program this year, consisting of 22 sessions on Saturday and Sunday! For those attending the main Congress, there is no extra cost to attend the Pre-Congress sessions (you must register for the main Congress first). There is limited space in some of the sessions, so plan your travel accordingly and register quickly! 

An overview of the Pre-Congress Program is below: 

  • Evolution of health accounts to inform health reforms  
  • Immunization Economics Special Interest Group Pre-Congress Session (NOTE: reminder that registration for this session is being run by the Immunization Economics group here
  • Introduction to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Training  
  • Can direct financing for public facilities improve the availability of health products?  
  • Early Career Researcher Session  
  • EQ-5D as a measure of population health  
  • Addressing deteriorating financial protection in health: measurement issues and policy responses  
  • People centered, Efficient Health Care Services: Rethinking Sustainable Health Care Financing in the context of the African Unions ALM declaration on domestic financing for health  
  • Structuring and adapting health economic models for low- and middle-income settings  
  • Exploring the “means” to achieve universal health coverage in Africa: research and insights on contributory and non-contributory means of financing health care from low- and middle-income countries  
  • Economic analysis in support of HIV policy  
  • Sustainable health financing capacity strengthening in Africa  
  • Bridging the costing gap: policymaker needs and practitioner approaches  
  • How to get published in academic journals – an introduction  
  • Values and Ethics for Universal Health Coverage in South Africa, Framework and Website launch  
  • Gender and Health Economics  
  • Assessing and explaining health inequality and equity in a developing country context  
  • Challenges to Establish Sustainable Health Coverage: What Can Different LMIC Models in Asia Teach Us?  
  • The establishment of HTA for Benefit Package Design in LMIC – using an Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes  
  • Achieving Equitable Service use and Financial Protection Through Health Financing Reforms in the Context of Universal Health Coverage in Low Resource Settings. The Zambian Experiences from initiation and implementation of national health insurance  
  • Anticipating the potential impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the U.S.: What can be learnt from global experience on the impact of price regulation on patient access and equity of access?  
  • National Health Insurance as the path to Universal Health Coverage in South Africa 

You can learn more about each of these sessions here (scroll down to the Pre-Congress program tab) and register for them online here

Additional Information About Onsite Participation 

For those joining us in Cape Town, South Africa this July, there is additional information available about onsite participation, and Cape Town, online here under the registration and participation tab. We encourage you to use this information to plan your visit to Cape Town! 

Arrow Award 

The 31st Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to: 

Sendhil Mullainathan and Ziad Obermeyer, 2022. Diagnosing Physician Error: A Machine Learning Approach to Low-Value Health Care. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 137(2): 679-727 

The Arrow Award Committee proudly recognizes the authors of this innovative paper, which uses machine learning to study decision making in healthcare. The authors focus on how physicians diagnose heart attacks. Using an algorithmic model to predict a patient’s probability of experiencing a heart attack, the authors identify instances where a physician’s testing decisions deviate from the predicted risk.

The study reveals that physicians both undertest and overtest. From a natural experiment they find that inefficiencies cannot be explained by incentives alone and point to systematic errors in judgment. The authors find that physicians tend to use a simplistic risk model and overweight factors that are salient or representative of heart attack, such as chest pain. The authors argue that health care models should account for physician error, as focusing solely on incentives can produce large inefficiencies. The conclusion has broad implications for understanding physician decision-making and modeling physician behavior in health economics research. 

We congratulate the authors on the publication of this important paper.  

IHEA would like to thank the members of the Arrow Award Committee: 

  • Chair: Tor Iversen, University of Oslo  
  • Co-Chair: Yuting Zhang, University of Melbourne  
  • Marcella Alsan, Harvard University  
  • Marika Cabral, University of Texas  
  • Luke Connelly, University of Queensland  
  • Karine Lamiraud, ESSEC  
  • Hsienming Lien, National Chengchi University  
  • Manoj Mohanan, Duke University  
  • Edward Okeke, Pardee RAND Graduate School  
  • Mark Stabile, INSEAD  
  • Erin Strumpf, McGill University  
  • Judit Vall Castelló, Universitat de Barcelona  
  • Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Bristol University 
  • Heidi Williams, Stanford University  

Health Economics Research Centre (HERC) Upcoming Short Courses 

Oxford Population Health 

The University of Oxford is offering a short course, Introduction to Health Economic Evaluation, online from May 23-24. This short course is for health professionals and health researchers who would like to understand the basics of health economics and its relevance to the health service. No previous knowledge of economics is required.  

Learn more here.

N.B. Discounted rates are available when booking the following course combinations together: the Integrating Economic Evaluation into Clinical Trials & Introduction to Health Economic Evaluation courses. 

For full information on all of the above courses, including pricing, please visit https://www.herc.ox.ac.uk/herc-short-courses 

If you wish to contact them, please email herc@ndph.ox.ac.uk. Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Short-Term Global Health Courses at the Johns Hopkins Global Health Systems Summer Institute  

Choose from 23 short-term courses during June 5-30, 2023. Most courses are offered online.  

The Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is hosting a Global Health Systems Summer Institute. The Institute is a great opportunity for early- to mid-career public health professionals to expand their skill sets and improve job performance.   

There is a reduced rate for those taking the courses for non-credit. The reduced price is $200 per credit. Most of the courses are 2–3 credits.  

Twenty-three courses will be offered, including four health economics courses: 

  • Behavioral economics in health decisions, June 5–8, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Taught by Antonio Trujillo 
  • Disease and program costing in global health programs, June 5–9, 1:30–4:30 p.m. Taught by Gatien de Broucker and Bryan Patenaude 
  • Globalization and health: Framework for analysis, June 12–15, 8–10 a.m. Taught by Andres Vecino-Ortiz 
  • Introduction to global health economics, June 20–23, 1:30–5:30 p.m. Taught by Andres Vecino-Ortiz 

Other topics include global health technology and innovation, primary health care, global health entrepreneurship, health systems strengthening, health systems management, health policy, health care financing, the private sector and global health, and more. Take as many courses as you’d like.

View the complete schedule and course descriptions. 

Information on tuition and how to register can be found here

Upcoming Webinars

A Question Of Morality? Preferences For Liberties, Lives And Livelihoods During A Pandemic

Date: May 4 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Description: Pandemics represent a disease category that not only challenges our mortality but also forces us to consider our moral relations with others in society. This was clear during the Covid-19 pandemic, with public opinion often polarised on whether, and to what extent, government policy should mandate restrictions on individual liberties to save lives, and the extent to which economic costs should be considered. Little is known about public preferences and trade-offs for such factors during a pandemic. Such information is crucial if public messaging is to achieve maximum compliance. Using a discrete choice experiment, this study estimates trade-offs between lives, liberties, and livelihoods in a future pandemic, and assesses their relationship to moral attitudes. Findings suggest moral attitudes partly explain polarised views around restrictive lockdowns. Implications for devising effective public health messaging to increase lockdown compliance during a future pandemic are discussed.

Featured speaker:

Professor Mandy Ryan is the Director of the Health Economics Research Unit. She joined HERU in 1987 after graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA (Hons) in Economics and the University of York with an MSc in Health Economics. In 1995, she graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a PhD in Economics concerned with the application of contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments (DCEs) in health economics. In 1997, Mandy was awarded a five-year Medical Research Council Non-Clinical Senior Fellowship to develop and apply DCEs in healthcare. In 2002, she was awarded a Personal Chair in Health Economics by the University of Aberdeen and in 2006 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She took up the Directorship of HERU in April 2013. Mandy’s research interests focus on taking a person-centred approach to valuation in health economics. She is known for her work challenging the clinical approach to valuation that is often adopted by health economists and for developing alternative person-centred approaches. She introduced DCEs into health economics in the early 1990s and her research has applied DCEs in a wide range of contexts to take account of the user preferences in the delivery of healthcare.

Register here

Balancing Samples In Stated Preference Studies

Date: June 5 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Abstract: There is a growing interest in quantifying the degree of heterogeneity in stated preferences for health. A popular investigation into preference heterogeneity involves split-sample analysis to make comparisons across subgroups. However, subgroups may differ in many observed characteristics and not accounting for these other characteristics may bias comparisons if these are also associated with preferences.

Likewise, recruiting respondents to stated preference studies can be challenging and the study sample may not be representative of the population of interest (e.g., a patient population, the general population). Unrepresentative samples may be useful for indicating preferences but if they differ in characteristics that are associated with preferences, decision-makers may struggle to generalise from the results.

This study explores how weighting and balancing approaches from the causal inference literature can be used in stated preference research to improve the balance of samples. This seminar will cover methods such as propensity-score weighting and entropy-balancing, and examine how these approaches can affect results and the subsequent conclusions drawn using hypothetical (simulated) and empirical examples.

The seminar will finish with an exploration of when these approaches should be used and when they may not be useful, including a discussion of how balancing samples may address barriers to the transportability of preference results for health care decision making.

Speaker Details: Caroline is a Research Economist in the Health Preference Assessment team at RTI Health Solutions. Her research focuses on stated preference research, particularly using discrete choice experiments (DCEs) to elicit preferences for benefit-risk trade-offs. She has methodological interests in both the qualitative and quantitative components of stated preference research. She was invited to co-lead an International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Webinar: Why and How to Use Qualitative Research Methods in Conjunction with DCEs, and recently first-authored an ISPOR Special Interest Group’s report on preference heterogeneity in DCEs. Prior to joining RTI Health Solutions, Caroline completed her PhD and post-doc research at the University of Manchester. As a PhD student she won the Lee B. Lusted Prize at the Society for Medical Decision Making’s (SMDM) 36th Annual Conference. Caroline has given oral presentations of her research at international conferences and has peer-reviewed publications including systematic reviews, editorials, empirical applications, and pedagogical pieces in journals such as PharmacoEconomics, Medical Decision Making, Value in Health, and the Journal of Choice Modelling. She currently sits on the honorary editorial board for The Patient journal.

Register here

View all upcoming events online here.

Did You Know

Lower congress registration fees are only one of the many benefits of IHEA membership. For example, IHEA members have the opportunity to join any of the IHEA Special Interest Groups to facilitate collegial engagement and networking with members across the world working in the same field. A key membership benefit is the opportunity to participate in the mentorship program, which aims to support early- and mid-career health economists in their professional development and personal well-being. The call for expressions of interest to participate in the next round of the mentoring program will be released soon.