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Value Health. 2018 Feb;21(2):131-139. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2017.12.007.

Defining Elements of Value in Health Care-A Health Economics Approach: An ISPOR Special Task Force Report [3].

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Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address:
Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Economics, Public Health Sciences, Political Science, University of Rochester, Gualala, CA, USA.
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


The third section of our Special Task Force report identifies and defines a series of elements that warrant consideration in value assessments of medical technologies. We aim to broaden the view of what constitutes value in health care and to spur new research on incorporating additional elements of value into cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). Twelve potential elements of value are considered. Four of them-quality-adjusted life-years, net costs, productivity, and adherence-improving factors-are conventionally included or considered in value assessments. Eight others, which would be more novel in economic assessments, are defined and discussed: reduction in uncertainty, fear of contagion, insurance value, severity of disease, value of hope, real option value, equity, and scientific spillovers. Most of these are theoretically well understood and available for inclusion in value assessments. The two exceptions are equity and scientific spillover effects, which require more theoretical development and consensus. A number of regulatory authorities around the globe have shown interest in some of these novel elements. Augmenting CEA to consider these additional elements would result in a more comprehensive CEA in line with the "impact inventory" of the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Possible approaches for valuation and inclusion of these elements include integrating them as part of a net monetary benefit calculation, including elements as attributes in health state descriptions, or using them as criteria in a multicriteria decision analysis. Further research is needed on how best to measure and include them in decision making.


cost-effectiveness analysis; economics of medical technology; health technology assessment; value of health care

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