Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thresholds' controversies

Guidance on priority setting in health care (GPS-Health): the inclusion of equity criteria not captured by cost-effectiveness analysis

The threshold for cost-effectiveness is under controversy again. This is not new. FT explains a new York University paper that has created great concern. Is it NICE cost-effectiveness way of implementation really "cost-effective"?. From their point of view, thresholds are higher than they should be to guarantee access.
Thresholds are only one side of the coin. The other one is the introduction of equity criteria in cost-effectiveness analysis. Three years ago, I explained this topic in a post commenting on Tony Culyer''s article. He says that there are two "dragons" in dealing with cost-effective analysis: equity and our ignorance about how to introduce it. I then quoted this statement:
‘Arguably the biggest threat to our public health care system is not our ability to pay for the increasing cost of care, but rather a loss of public confidence.’’
An older post on Eddy's work explains similar concerns over thresholds and equity. We have to convene that there is not only one method to do it. However, some well known academics have published an interesting proposal: criteria for access to be considered jointly with cost-effectiveness.
The GPS-Health incorporates criteria related to the disease an intervention targets (severity of disease, capacity to benefit, and past health loss); characteristics of social groups an intervention targets (socioeconomic status, area of living, gender; race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation); and non-health consequences of an intervention (financial protection, economic productivity, and care for others).
Basically, these criteria are well known. The difficulty of its measurement has yet to be overcome.

PS. My former post on the same topic and authors in York. 

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