Prevention, treatment, and palliative care: The relative value of health improvements under alternative evaluation frameworks.

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Date: July 2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 204 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Prevention; Treatment; Morbidity; Social-welfare function; Benefit-cost analysis; Value per statistical life Abstract The social value of decreasing health risks can be evaluated using benefit-cost analysis (BCA), cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), or a social-welfare function (SWF). These frameworks can produce different social preference rankings of interventions depending on how their health effects and costs are distributed in a population. This paper derives social values of marginal decreases in the probability of illness, its severity (decrease in health status), lethality (conditional mortality risk), and cost under BCA, CEA, and three benchmark SWFs: utilitarian, ex ante prioritarian, and ex post prioritarian. The sensitivity of the social values of improvements in health and decreases in cost to individual circumstances are diverse. In contrast, the conditions under which a decrease in risk, severity, or lethality is socially preferred to a decrease in another of these dimensions are identical for BCA, CEA, the utilitarian and ex ante prioritarian SWFs, but can differ for the ex post prioritarian SWF. Author Affiliation: Harvard University (Center for Risk Analysis & Center for Health Decision Science), USA; Toulouse School of Economics, University of Toulouse-Capitole, France Article History: Received 18 February 2021; Revised 5 May 2022; Accepted 25 May 2022 Byline: James K. Hammitt [jkh@harvard.edu]

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A709525735