Health Economics and Health Policy

The working group Health Economics and Health Policy focuses on three issues: economic evaluation, economic analysis (of presently) existing health policies, and comparative international health service research.

Economic Evaluation in Health Care

Economic evaluation in health care means not only appraising the effects (and the risks) of health goods and services, but also assessing their costs (cost-of-illness studies) and relating costs and effects (cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost- benefit analysis). In this way a contribution can be made to the inevitable and necessary prioritisation of medical services. Although economic evaluation is just a component of wider health economics, it is the component that is associated predominantly with the notion of health economics, especially by experts in this field. Even if economic evaluation is just a fraction of the discipline, there are already specialized books that virtually handle only economic evaluation under the title of health economics. The significance of economic evaluation is rising politically as well. So far, economic evaluation is integrated progressively into clinical studies and Health Technology Assessments (HTA). One can expect a rising demand for competence in economic evaluation in the near future and we identify respective potential for application in Bremen as well. Economic evaluation is allotted to Tina Salomon, who is not only occupied with respective courses, but also with those research projects that incorporate an economic evaluation. These include economic evaluation of the implementation of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) in home care for the elderly and the evaluation of a specific preventive program within the context of integrated care.


Health Policy and Health system research

The health policy research in this section builds on the history of the ZeS. It is extended by economic expertise. One part of this division deals with the ongoing political discourse on health policy (e.g. income-related contributions or flat- rate premiums within the context of statutory health insurance, reimbursement for hospitals based on related diagnostic groups, risk adjustment scheme for health insurance). The health economics research on health policy is carried out by Bernhard Braun and Katharina Wendlandt, amongst others.

Finally, included in this research area is also the area of (international comparative) health system research, which is disciplinarily attached to the interface between comparative welfare state research and health economics. Through an international comparative approach, this research aims at the better recognition and understanding of our own health care system, and, furthermore, tries to critically evaluate the chances that foreign experiences can be implemented in the German health care system.