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JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods
March 11, 2019

Overview of Cost-effectiveness Analysis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 4Durham Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT), Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina
  • 5Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 6The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, Departments of Pharmacy, Health, Services and Economics, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA. 2019;321(14):1400-1401. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1265

Health care decision makers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, private health systems, and public payers (eg, Medicare), are often challenged with choosing among several new or existing interventions or programs to commit their limited resources to. This choice is ideally based on a comparison of health benefits, harms, and costs associated with each alternative. How best to determine the optimal intervention is a challenging task because benefits, harms, and costs must be weighed for a given option and compared with alternatives.

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