Significance of Health Economics


Health economics is the discipline of economics applied to the topic of health care. Broadly defined, economics concerns how society allocates its resources among alternative uses. Health economics is a branch of economics concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value and behavior in the production and consumption of health and healthcare. Health economics is important in determining how to improve health outcomes and lifestyle patterns through interactions between individuals, healthcare providers and clinical settings. In broad terms, health economists study the functioning of healthcare systems and health-affecting behaviors such as smoking, diabetes, and obesity.

One of the biggest difficulties regarding healthcare economics is that it does not follow normal rules for economics. Price and Quality are often hidden by the third-party payer system of insurance companies and employers. Additionally, QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Years), one of the most commonly used measurements for treatments, is very difficult to measure and relies upon assumptions that are often unreasonable.

Health economics review is an international high-quality journal covering all fields of Health Economics. A broad range of theoretical contributions, empirical studies and analyses of health policy with a health economic focus will be considered for publication. Its scope includes macro- and microeconomics of health care financing, health insurance and reimbursement as well as health economic evaluation, health services research and health policy analysis. Further research topics are the individual and institutional aspects of health care management and the growing importance of health care in developing countries.

From a Public Health point of view, health economics is just one of many disciplines that may be used to analyse issues of health and health care, specifically as one of the set of analytical methods labelled Health Services Research. But from an economics point of view, health economics is simply one of many topics to which economic principles and methods can be applied. So, in describing the principles of health economics, we are really setting out the principles of economics and how they might be interpreted in the context of health and health care. As Morris, Devlin Parkin and Spencer put it: Health economics is the application of economic theory, models and empirical techniques to the analysis of decision-making by individuals, health care providers and governments with respect to health and health care.

There are many different definitions of economics, but a definition given in a popular introductory textbook is instructive: The study of how society decides what, how and for whom to produce. In analysing these issues, health economics attempts to apply the same analytical methods that would be applied to any good or service that the economy produces. However, it also always asks if the issues are different in health care. Health economists evaluate multiple types of financial information: costs, charges and expenditures. Uncertainty is intrinsic to health, both in patient outcomes and financial concerns. The knowledge gap that exists between a physician and a patient creates a situation of distinct advantage for the physician, which is called asymmetric information.

Journal of Healthcare Communications is a journal publishes Quarterly in English language. We welcome original research articles, review articles, editorials, case reports, and others from any part of the world. Manuscripts are reviewed by members of the international editorial board and our expert peer reviewers, then either accepted for publication or rejected by the chief editor. Shorter articles are particularly welcome.

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