Economic Evidence at the Local Level: Options for Making it More Useful
Kees van Gool
Like other countries, Australia has had some success in incorporating economic evidence into national healthcare decisions. However, it has been recognised that this coverage does not extend to the local hospital or health region level. An extensive body of research has identified barriers to the use of economic evidence at the local level, leading some commentators to suggest that economic evaluation should only be targeted at national decision-making bodies. Yet, local decision makers in Australia and elsewhere make important choices about the uptake and diffusion of healthcare technologies. We propose a number of interrelated options to address the barriers that currently prohibit the use of economic evaluation by local decision makers in many jurisdictions. These include wider dissemination of user friendly models, inclusion of assessments of the cost impact of interventions on various budgets, and the establishment of an authoritative body that ensures the production of high quality economic models. It is argued that these options can have a significant impact on the way economic evaluations are conducted, reported, disseminated and used.
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