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Pre-congress Sessions

 

Innovative methods for evaluating access to medicine programs in low- and middle-income countries

Friday July 7, 8:30AM-12:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-105

Improving access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has been recognized as a key health challenge by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Access to Medicines (AtM) programs in LMICs have grown rapidly in number in recent years as countries move towards Universal Health Coverage. However, few AtM programs have been rigorously evaluated and little is currently known about their impact. Collaboration among researchers, industry, and the global health community is needed to develop innovative metrics and methods for evaluating the impacts of AtM programs.

The aim of this pre-congress session is to bring together researchers and practitioners working on access to medicine issues in LMICs to discuss innovative metrics and methods for evaluating AtM programs.  It will include an initial keynote presentation and several shorter presentations, selected from an open call for abstracts, accompanied by feedback from a nominated discussants.  Key topics for this session include: indicators for measuring access to medicines; methods for evaluating the impacts of AtM initiatives; and empirical research on access to medicines from LMICs.

 

The Affordable Care Act past, present and future: Tense

Friday July 7, 1:30-5:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-105

This pre-congress session will discuss US national health care policy, recent reforms, and new ideas for change. The focal point for the discussion is the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as ObamaCare, which passed in 2010, with its signature implementation in 2014 of a Health Insurance Marketplace that promotes universal health insurance coverage. The session will have two panels of presenters. The rst panel will focus on the past and present of the ACA, including measures of enrollments, premiums, cost trends, and health care outcomes. The second panel will present diverse perspectives on alternative futures for the ACA or other health care reforms. There will be time for debate and questions from the audience.

Panel 1: ACA Past and Present
Organizer welcoming: Randy Ellis (Boston University, Department of Economics) Chair: Leemore Dafny (Harvard Business School and NBER)
Panellists:
•Jonathan Gruber (MIT, Department of Economics and NBER)
•Emily Gee (Center for American Progress)
•David Cutler (Harvard University, Department of Economics and NBER)

Panel 2: ACA Future: Tense
Chair: Randy Ellis (Boston University, Department of Economics)
Panellists:
•John Goodman (Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research)
•Yevgeniy Feyman (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research) •Benjamin Sommers (Harvard T.H. School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School)

Session Sponsor | Social Insight | Aetna Foundation

 

Universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries: What, how and why?

Friday July 7, 8:30AM-5:00PM, Harvard Medical School, Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC), 209 Mini Amphitheater, 260 Longwood Avenue, Boston 

 
Universal health coverage (UHC) has captured global attention. However, in low- and middle-income countries where resources are limited and where competing demands exist, UHC remains an elusive concept. For example, what does “UHC” mean at $30 or $50 per capita total health expenditure? How has the world discourse moved from UHC as all health care needed to “basic” or “essential” health care? Where do the synergies and tradeoffs between health outcome and financial protection lie? How to improve effective and efficient use of limited resources? What strategies have worked or not worked and why, and to what extent are they scalable?

The primary goal of this one-day pre-congress session is to bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and debate critical issues surrounding achieving UHC in the low- and middle-income settings. There will be four sessions, each includes a main presentation, two commentaries and ample time for discussions, with the goal to generate debates. Session one addresses the question, “what does UHC mean in low- and middle-income country settings?” drawing on economic concepts, relevant ethical principles and country examples. Sessions two to four examine strategies for improving efficient and effective use of resources, including the pros and cons of a national health service versus a national health insurance system, strategic purchasing, priority setting, drawing on economic principles, the political economy of implementation and empirical evidence and experiences from different countries.

 

Capacity development in applied vaccine economics

Friday July 7, 1:30-5:00PM and Saturday July 8, 8:30AM-5:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-222

 
The Teaching Vaccine Economics session is focused on capacity building in applied vaccine economics, cost- effectiveness and nance. The target audience is current decision-makers in EPI programs, NiTAGs and partners in GAVI eligible countries. Johns Hopkins faculty together with local vaccine delivery experts and academics from Uganda, South Africa, India, and Pakistan developed and will deploy a curriculum that is customized with examples based on local context. Modular Themes include: economic evaluation, costing of programs, strategies and policies, program evaluation, budget optimization, nancing, resource tracking and vaccine economics. 

Session Sponsor | Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 

 

Behavioral economics and physician behavior

Saturday July 8, 8:30AM-5:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-322

Changing the behaviour of physicians is essential in reducing practice variation, low value care, costs, and improving the quality of care provided. Behavioural economics is important in understanding behaviours, in the design of non- nancial and nancial interventions, and also understanding heterogeneity in physician’s responses to these interventions. The aim of this workshop is promote discussion of recent advances and potential future applications of behavioural economics to physician decision making. The focus will be on blending insights from psychology with microeconomics and experiments. 

Session Sponsors | Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts | Centre for Primary Care, Harvard Medical School 

 

Frontiers of health economics research in Latin America

Saturday July 8, 8:30AM-5:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-324

 
The aim of this pre-congress workshop is to contribute to building a community of practice of academic health economists that could promote quality health economics research in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and contribute towards stronger health care systems in this region. The workshop is not only targeted at those currently undertaking health economics research in LAC but also others from the international academic community whose research could permeate LAC health issues or who may develop an interest in research in LAC if exposed to the region’s issues.

The workshop includes 2 keynote presentations and 8 shorter presentations, the latter being selected from an open call for abstracts.  It includes both theoretical and empirical contributions and focus on a range of health system issues such as health care financing, provider competition, mixed private-public health care systems, market regulation and incentives, human resources, high cost drugs, health promotion and prevention, specific services (e.g. mental health, long term care), and policy evaluation and assessment.

Session Sponsor | CAF, Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina 

 

Teaching health economics

Saturday July 8, 8:30AM-5:00 PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-208

 
Health economics is a relative newcomer to the economics discipline and economics pedagogy. Microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics have served as foundations of economics curricula for over fifty years, and public finance, international economics, and industrial organization date back even further. Many university economics departments have only recently instituted health economics courses, and at many universities health economics courses reside outside of economics departments, in schools of public health, business, or nursing. Starting with the 2011 Toronto meetings, iHEA has led efforts to present, share, and disseminate path-breaking methods and research on teaching health economics.

This pre-congress workshop seeks to bring together teachers of health economics to share their methods and resources (including teaching methods, data archives, research on teaching efficacy) with colleagues. We would hope that current and would-be health economics instructors could leave with enhanced “tool-boxes” for teaching and learning health economics.

 

Revolution in social protection or stagnation at scale? Indonesia’s Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional Insurance Program after three years

Saturday July 8, 8:30AM-12:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-224

Even before it launched its single-payer national health insurance system Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN) in 2014, Indonesia had achieved insurance coverage above 50% of the population, albeit with fragmented schemes across the formal sector and with an additional scheme targeting the poor.  In this session, Indonesian health financing practitioners, policymakers and experts will review evidence on whether or not JKN has increased access and utilization among the poor and the informal sector, enhanced social protection, and improved the efficiency and effectiveness of how healthcare is purchased.  Specific issues that will be considered include: identifying and targeting the poor and informal sector workers; benefits and challenges of a unified database of the poor for health and other social programs; protection of the poor from out-of-pocket spending; effect of capitation and paying for performance on primary healthcare; and appropriate reimbursement rates for private and public providers.

The session will include several presentations, panel discussions and opportunities for participant engagement.

 

New insights into the economics of substance use disorder treatment: Addressing the opioid epidemic

Saturday July 8, 1:30-5:00PM, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Room HAR-224

 
The session will highlight ongoing research by the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH), a Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Using the opioid epidemic in the U.S. as a lens, presenters will discuss evolving methods in economic evaluation of substance use disorders in response to the recently released recommendations of the Second Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Results from recent empirical studies of the cost effectiveness of behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions for opioid use disorders will be highlighted. 

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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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