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Pre-Congress Sessions

Pre-Congress Sessions, July 13-14, 2019
iHEA 2019 Congress, Basel


Overview of Pre-Congress Sessions

 Saturday July 13, 2019


Sunday July 14, 2019


Pre-Congress Program Overview Program
Printable version



Short Descriptions of Pre-Congress Sessions

Saturday July 13 - Sunday July 14, 2019 (two full days)

Immunization Economics
Organizer: iHEA Immunization Economics Special Interest Group

This two-day pre-congress session will include: (1) featured updates on research findings, methodology, and cases; (2) concurrent capacity building sessions covering analytic methods and knowledge translation; (3) panel sessions on effective dissemination and future direction; and (4) keynote speeches and open poster presentations.  You are invited to submit an abstract (click here) for consideration for a poster presentation in this session.  Funding support towards travel and accommodation costs will be given to five high-scoring submissions.

Saturday July 13, 2019

Global Health Expenditure Tracking 
Organizer: Ke Xu, World Health Organization
Full day session

WHO publishes annual global health expenditure data based on the SHA2011 classification framework. This session will discuss the concept, estimation methods and data sources of three key areas of health expenditure: domestic government spending and external aid on health; disease and program specific expenditure; and health expenditure by types of services, including primary health care.


Data to Drive Benefit Package Design: A Hands-on Orientation to WHO Tools for Informing Strategic Purchasing Priorities Through Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Impact Analysis 
(Short title for registration: Data on Budget Impact & CEA to Inform Benefit Packages)
Organizer: Karin Stenberg, World Health Organization
Half-day, afternoon session

Developing benefit packages for UHC requires data, sound modelling frameworks, and the capacity to interpret results and use these to inform policy making. Participants will learn about WHO tools designed to facilitate such analysis, and share experiences on using data to drive purchasing decisions in low and middle income countries.


Early Career Researcher (ECR) Pre-Congress session
Organizer: iHEA Early Career Researcher Special Interest Group
Half-day, afternoon session (followed by reception)

The aim of this session is to provide a forum for early career researchers (ECRs) to receive detailed feedback on their research from both their peers and senior researchers in their field. There will be two parallel sessions, featuring 12 ECR papers in total, which will run longer than the other pre-congress sessions (until 6.15pm). There are no restrictions on who can attend this session, but ECRs are particularly encouraged to attend. Further information on this session can be found at After the session, there will be a drinks reception, which will be open to ECRs who have not participated in the session itself.


Beyond Vertical: Experiences and Approaches to Integrating Vertically-funded Health Programs into Insurance Schemes – Lessons from Africa & Asia 
(Short title for registration: Beyond Vertical: Integrating Vertical Programs into Insurance Schemes)
Shree Prabhakaran, Palladium
Half-day, afternoon session

Certain issues related to long-term sustainability of HIV, TB, and FP programs are critical for health system managers and health financing specialists. How should insurance schemes plan to integrate HIV or TB medicines and diagnostics, if the prices depend on funder-specific procurement channels? How will or should accredited providers, especially private, access subsidized commodities? Stigma and discrimination and the marginalization of people living with HIV also pose challenges to enrolment and utilization. Reimbursing providers in line with managing antiretroviral therapy as a chronic care intervention, paying for outcomes, i.e. viral suppression or TB cure, and cost efficiency, all prove challenging to scheme administrators who are focused on broad scheme sustainability. We will explore experiences and practical approaches taken to consider integration of various vertical programs in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Tanzania, and explore factors of regulatory environment, procurement and supply chain approaches and strategic purchasing mechanisms.


Using Household Data for Evidence-Based Health Financing Decision-Making: Are Health Expenditure and Utilization Surveys Worth the Cost? 
(Short title for registration: Household Health Expenditure Surveys: Are they Worth the Cost?)
Lyubov Teplitskaya, Palladium Group
Two-hour, afternoon session

How should countries decide on appropriate survey approaches given resources for design, piloting, data collection, analysis, and dissemination? How should the stage of health sector reforms and the health system maturity inform the decision? Some middle-income countries implement periodic household health expenditure and utilization surveys (HEUS) with detailed data on sources of financing, providers, and inpatient and outpatient utilization. Other countries contend with no such data or only data from health expenditure modules in DHS, or questions in Living Standards Surveys or household budget surveys. The latter two are not intended to be detailed sources of health data. While HEUS offer the most granularity, and if conducted repeatedly, can help track health sector reform, they also come at significant additional cost and still do not obviate need for a DHS. In this session, HP+ will discuss some country experiences (Philippines, Kenya) in prioritizing HEUS or similar detailed surveys and contextualizing these data for health sector reform, as well as experiences in the use of other general household surveys (Indonesia, Ukraine) to inform health financing decision-making.


Measurement of Industry-Led Access-to-Medicines Programs
Peter Rockers, Boston University
Half-day, afternoon session; participation by invitation only

This session aims to facilitate a broad discussion on measurement of pharmaceutical industry-led access-to-medicines programs. The session will include a set of presentations on recent evaluations of industry-led programs followed by a discussion with audience participation on opportunities and challenges related measuring these programs.  Those interested in attending this invitation-only session should contact the organizer (, though space is limited and an invitation is not guaranteed.


Sunday July 14th, 2019

Economics of Obesity
: iHEA Economics of Obesity Special Interest Group
Full day session

This workshop will provide an opportunity to collaborate, network and share experiences with obesity research.  Structured into sections the workshop will focus on: 

  • PhD/early-career researchers presenting their research;
  • sharing experiences from different country perspectives;
  • mapping out a future research agenda;
  • discussing methodological challenges.


Economics of the Health Workforce
Organizer: Joanne Spetz, University of California San Francisco
Full day session

The focus of this mini-conference is on micro-econometric studies of health workforce supply and demand. Potential topics include wage setting, competition in health labor markets, human capital formation, occupation and specialty choice, career transitions, geographic distribution of health professionals, international migration, and the evaluation of policy interventions.  Presentations will be selected from an open call for abstracts and peer-review process.


4th ICECAP Users' Workshop
Joanna Coast, University of Bristol; Paul Mitchell, University of Bristol
Full day session; participation by invitation only (please see below if you would like to attend)

The ICECAP measures ( are measures of capability wellbeing, intended for use in applied studies, including economic evaluation, to aid resource allocation decisions.  The measures are currently included in more than 250 research studies across 18 countries.  Following ICECAP user workshops in the UK in 2008, 2011 and 2014, this will be the first international ICECAP user workshop, providing the opportunity for participants from across the world to bring together experiences from a variety of cultural settings, develop collaborations and influence the research agenda.  The workshop will update on current ICECAP-related research, provide a forum for discussion about use of the measures, and consider issues around the use of the measures in decision making. 

If you are interested in attending or presenting your work at the workshop, please e-mail Paul Mitchell (, stating if you are currently using one of the ICECAP measures.  Priority for invitations to attend will be given to those presenting and current ICECAP users.


Health Care Provider Behavior and Quality of Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
Margaret McConnell and Jessica Cohen, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Thomas Burke, Massachusetts General Hospital
Half-day, morning session

This session will focus on health care provider behavior and quality of care in low- and middle-income countries. Topics are likely to include the role of health care provider motivation and behavioral barriers in clinical decision-making, and the effects of interventions targeting improved clinical decision-making.


Measure What Matters: Training Workshop on Household Survey Data on Out-of-Pocket Health Expenditure 
(Short title for registration: Training Workshop: Household Survey Data on OOP Expenditure)
Gabriela Flores, World Health Organization
Half-day, morning session

 Evidence on financial protection comes from heterogeneous household surveys instruments. This workshop is intended to introduce key concepts, related data collection challenges, propose evidence-based relevant changes to survey instruments and innovative approaches to improve the reliability, relevance and comparability of household out-of-pocket health payments.


Financing Common Goods for Health
Joe Kutzin, World Health Organization
Half-day, morning session

 The Ebola crisis brought home to the global health community a scary realization that we are not prepared to deal with pandemics or existing and emerging planetary health challenges. This session will address these obstacles in under-investment and identify sources and modalities of financing these core public health functions.


Teaching Health Economics - Active Learning Methods
iHEA Teaching Health Economics Special Interest Group
Half-day, morning session

This two-session meeting will present innovative health economics teaching methods focusing on active learning.  Session 1 will feature presentations on methods, experiments, databases, and distance learning in teaching health economics.  Session 2 will be an “active learning” workshop in international context, conducted by Dr. Jill Boylston Herndon.


The Tenth Anniversary of China’s Health Care Reform: Global Lessons for Universal Health Coverage
(Short title for registration: China’s Health Care Reform: Global Lessons for UHC)
Winnie Yip, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Half-day, morning session

The primary objectives of this pre congress session are to: 1) examine the evidence on the achievements and gaps in China’s health reform to provide equitable access to quality basic health care for all; 2) analyze the underlying causes and 3) draw global lessons.


Unhealthy Growth: Underinvestment in Health Despite Increasing Government Budgets in Africa
(Short title for registration: Do Growing Economies Fund Health? Evidence from Africa)
Pascal Saint-Firmin, Palladium
Two-hour, morning session

With recent rapid economic growth, low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa should ease further into a transition in the financing of health. However, despite increasing tax revenue, allocations to social sectors like health have not grown proportionally. For example, Mali has enjoyed positive macro-fiscal conditions without any growth in health allocations; while in Malawi, unspent health funds, especially from external sources, reached 59% of the total, stymieing efforts to pressure the Ministry of Finance to increase health funding. What drives underinvestment: continued poor absorptive capacity or seeing health as a poor investment? This expert panel session will present perspectives from two otherwise dissimilar cases of Mali and Malawi to discuss interactions between health, revenue-raising authorities, and the general economy; and share experiences from a broader range of countries where USAID’s Health Policy Plus project has contributed to domestic resource mobilization.


Value of Health Insurance Data from a Public Health Perspective
Siddharth Srivastava, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Two-hour, morning session

Health financing systems capture a wealth of data. This workshop will explore ways to use these data for public health system improvements. The results will contribute towards the development of an analytics module for the openIMIS software. openIMIS is an open source software that helps manage beneficiary, provider and payer data.


The Benefit-Cost Analysis Reference Case: What It Is and How to Use It
Lisa Robinson, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Half-day, afternoon session

This workshop provides an opportunity to learn more about new reference case guidance for conducting benefit-cost analysis, including case study examples. It covers the underlying concepts, approaches for valuing changes in health and longevity, and practical implementation. Specific topics will be tailored to participants’ interests. For more information, see: 


Financing for Universal Health Coverage: Driving System Change through Strategic Purchasing 
(Short title for registration: Financing for UHC: Driving Change Through Strategic Purchasing)
World Health Organization and iHEA Financing for Universal Health Coverage Special Interest Group
Half-day, afternoon session (to be held at the Basel Congress Centre)

By explicitly aligning funding with service provision and quality of care, strategic purchasing can be a promising policy tool for improving efficiency and quality of health care and promoting equity. However, whether strategic purchasing can be effective in achieving its intended goals depends on how it is designed and implemented. This session examines core economic issues that underlie the design and implementation of strategic purchasing, including: 1) examining the effect of fragmented financing and mixed payment on the effectiveness of strategic purchasing; 2) using strategic purchasing to leverage delivery system change; and 3) the governance of strategic purchasing.

Pre-Congress Sessions Short Descriptions
Printable version

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