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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)
 Health Policy Plus Project, HP+
Half-day, afternoon session

Global health funding streams have achieved significant success with priority health interventions (HIV, TB, FP) through dedicated investment and often times the use of parallel systems for service delivery, procurement, data management and oversight. This approach allowed for significant gains to be made with these interventions while the broader health system made more incremental progress. As donor funding plateaus and declines, there is increased interest in effectively integrating these services within health financing reforms that are happening in several countries. Integration has several elements and must consider the legal and regulatory frameworks in place, the costs associated and financing impacts of different payment modalities, the existing and projected enrolment pathway, and the service delivery implications. The incentives for providers and payers also vary significantly by health intervention. HIV may only impact a small proportion of the insured population, but represents a lifelong cost to the payer. TB has a time-bound treatment course and has clear public health benefits, but requires providers to commit to the intensity of effort to deliver the care for TB-DOTS as needed. FP applies to the general population and is also a recurrent cost, but has complexities around current and desired method mix, and method availability at different levels of the health system. FP availability also impacts need in the covered population for MNH interventions, which affects both payer and provider incentives.

During this session, HP+ will explore different approaches taken to consider integration of various vertical programs in several countries. We will also consider how integration plans must navigate the regulatory environment, potentially revise procurement and supply chain approaches, and employ strategic purchasing mechanisms to ensure quality outcomes while achieving efficiency gains.

Presentation (titles subject to change)



Setting the scene: a framework for integration considerations

Arin Dutta, Health Policy Plus

1:00 – 1:15pm

HIV integration: different epidemics, health financing schemes, donor involvement and HIV progress influence integration rationale and approach

Indonesia: Leveraging JKN to accelerate HIV progress

Dr. Kalsum Komaryani, Centre for Health Financing, Ministry of Health Indonesia

1:15 – 1:30pm

Cambodia: Consolidating HIV success through integration with SHI

TBD, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia

1:30 – 1:45pm

Tanzania: Building the evidence base for integration into a future NHIS

Bryant Lee, Health Policy Plus

1:45 – 2:00pm

Rwanda: Exploring the role of CBHI in sustainable financing for the HIV response

Rebecca Ross, Health Policy Plus

2:00 – 2:15pm

TB integration: working with nascent state level insurance to expand access to TB treatment

Nigeria: Developing political will for integration of TB care in the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme


2:15 – 2:30pm

Tea break

2:30 – 3:00pm

Family planning integration: leveraging the private sector (for both insurance and service provision) to expand method mix

Bangladesh: Expanding method mix through improved financial protection in the private sector

TBD, Telenor Health, Bangladesh

3:00 – 3:15pm


Donor perspectives: USAID’s approach to integration

Linda Cahaelen, USAID

3:15 – 3:25pm

Panel of presenters: Comparing and contrasting approaches and drivers of success in integration

Moderator: Linda Cahaelen, USAID

3:25 – 4:00pm

Audience Q&A/discussion

Moderator: Shree Prabhakaran, Health Policy Plus

4:00 – 4:25pm

Concluding remarks

Suneeta Sharma, Health Policy Plus

4:25 – 4:30pm


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?)
 Health Policy Plus Project, HP+
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.

Join us to learn from 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 other countries (Indonesia, Ukraine) to use other general household surveys to inform health financing decision-making. The session will feature presentations from:

  • Indonesia Ministry of Health, Center for Health Financing and National Health Insurance (PPJK)
  • National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU)
  • Philippines Department of Health


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;  Michelle McIsaac, World Health Organization;  Matteo Ruggeri, Universita Cattolica del Sacro CuoreDiane Skåtun, University of AberdeenBianca Frogner, University of WashingtonUlrike Muench, University of California San FranciscoMichael Simon, University of Basel
Full day session

08:30-09:00: Opening remarks and brief introductions

Session1: Payment systems and the health workforce

Stirring the Pot: Switching from Blended Fee-For-Service to Blended Capitation in Ontario, Canada
Presenter: Sisira Sarma, Western University, Canada
Discussant: Anthony Scott, University of Melbourne, Australia

Does Pay-for-Performance improve quality of care? Evidence from Senegal
Presenter: Mylene Lagarde, London School of Economics, UK / France
Discussant: Luis Fernandes, Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, United Kingdom

An Analysis of Donor Financing of Human Resources for Health Activities and Health Worker Migration in Sub-Saharan African Countries
Presenter: Angela E Micah, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation/University of Washington, United States/Ghana
Discussant: Michelle McIsaac, World Health Organization

10:30-10:45: Coffee Break

Session 2: Nurse employment and services

The Complex Employment Decisions of Health Professionals over Time: Sequence Analysis of a Longitudinal Cohort of Professional Nurses in South Africa
Presenter: Duane Blaauw, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Discussant: Ulrike Muench, University of California, San Francisco, United States

The Effect of Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Regulations on the Growth of the Opioid Treatment Workforce in the United States
Presenter: Joanne Spetz, University of California, San Francisco, United States
Discussant: Bianca Frogner, University of Washington, United States

An Observed over Expected Estimator to Describe Individual Patients’ Exposure to Nurse Staffing During the Hospital Stay
Presenter: Sarah N. Musy, Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel, Switzerland; Inselspital Bern University Hospital, Nursing & Midwifery Research Unit, Switzerland
Discussant: Diane Skåtun, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

12:15-13:30: Lunch

Session 3: Team-based care

How Productive and Allocative Efficiency in General Practice Could Be Improved by Cooperation with Nurses: Learnings from a Mixed-Method Design to Evaluate a Teamwork Pilot in France
Presenter: Julien Mousques, IRDES, France
Discussant: Michael Simon, University of Basel, Switzerland

Effects on Multimorbid Patients of Adding a Non-Medical Health Coach to the Primary Care Team: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis
Presenter: Vishalie Shah, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Discussant: Audrey Laporte, University of Toronto, Canada

No Pain, Some Gain: Same Quality at Lower Cost by Shifting Tasks Between Healthcare Professionals
Presenter: Matteo Ruggeri, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italia
Discussant: Joana Maria R. N. de Paula Pestana, Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal

15:00-15:15: Coffee Break

Session 4: Discrete choice experiments

Rural Internship Job Preferences of Final Year Medical Students in South Africa: A Discrete Choice Experiment
Presenter: Maria Jose, University of Cape Town, South Arica
Discussant: Toshi Iizuka, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Employment Preferences of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to Work in the Remote District Hospitals: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment in Nepal
Presenter: Bishnu Gauutam, Ministry of Health, Nepal
Discussant: TBD

16:15-16:30: Closing remarks



4th ICECAP Users' Workshop
Joanna Coast, University of Bristol; Paul Mitchell, University of Bristol
Full day session

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. 

This session was initially restricted to those presenting papers in the session and current ICECAP users.  As there are some spaces still available, it has now been opened to other congress delegates. Those who have already registered directly with the session organizers do not need to register for this session on the iHEA congress registration system.


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

Session description

The Ebola crisis and climate-related disasters are bringing home a scary realization that the World is not ready for pandemics or existing and emerging planetary health challenges. There has been a major failure by donors and countries to prioritize investments in core functions that are fundamental to protecting and promoting health and well-being.  These functions, called “Common Goods for Health,” are population-based functions that require collective financing either from government or donors due to their related market failures. 


This half-day session will present a new WHO knowledge program to address obstacles to under-financing of these Common Goods for Health. This session will articulate, provide the technical and economic rationale for, estimate the cost of, identify modalities, and provide country experiences for financing common goods for health.  Top academics and practitioners at the frontline of implementation will be brought together to present work and experience on these issues.



Section 1 (8:30-9:45): Motivation, framework and financing mechanisms

Chair: Agnes Soucat, WHO


Title: When both markets and governments fail health

Presenters: Abdo Yazbeck, independent consultant

The motivation behind financing common goods for health will be presented to provide the rationale behind the knowledge program.


Title: When markets fail: common goods for health

Presenter: Peter Smith, Imperial College London

A framework will be presented to identify common goods for health based on the economic rationale behind market failures with population-based interventions and functions that contribute to health and well-being. 


Title: Financing common goods for health: a country agenda

Presenters: Susan Sparkes, WHO

The mechanisms, as well as potential challenges and opportunities to finance common goods for health at both the national level will be unpacked and explained in detail.


Title: Financing global common goods for health: when the world is a country

Presenters: Gavin Yamey, Duke University

This presentation will define and analyse global common goods for health that require supranational financing and will propose policy options that address financing- and governance-related issues.


Break (9:45 – 10:15)


Section 2 (10:15 – 12:00): Country perspective on financing common goods for health

Chair: Joe Kutzin, WHO


Presenter: Dr. Palitha Abeykoon, President of the Sri Lanka Medicine Association

We will learn how Sri Lanka’s commitment to preventive health services and functions has informed and been incorporated into their ongoing primary care strengthening reforms, as well as hear about the challenges and successes to financing common goods for health.


Presenter: Tolbert Nyenswah, Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia

We will hear from the Liberian leaders who managed and coordinated the national Ebola response in 2014 as to how the country is working to prioritize investments in core public health functions post-Ebola, as well as about some ongoing challenges.  


Presenter: Ajay Shah, National Institute for Public Finance and Policy, India

India’s decentralized government provides a rich example of ways in which public health functions have and have not been prioritized by local governments.


Discussant: Bill Savedoff, Center for Global Development



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

Session 1 (8:30-10:00)
The Practice of Teaching of Health Economics – Methods, Experiments, Databases, and Distance Learning.
Chair: Allen C. Goodman, Wayne State University

1. Useful tips for applying health economics tools to using existing case studies in health professions
Presenter: Maia Platt, University of Detroit Mercy 

The purpose of case study exercises is to foster students’ critical thinking and analytical skills through active learning assignments. This presentation will argue that simply following the given parameters of the task at hand, without critically reviewing them with economic lens, might produce sub-standard outcomes in the work environment of many health professions. The ultimate goal is to highlight the still-existing gap between a typical decision-making process in nearly any health profession vs. optimal decision-making process offered by a health professional equipped with economic tools; and to offer strategies to reduce that gap.

2. Assessing Health Economics using Portfolios: Building Skills while Building the Assessment
Presenter: Neha Batura, University College London

A portfolio is a collection of texts and/or other materials, usually including a reflective commentary, submitted as evidence that learning has taken place. We will reflect on both our own and our students experience of using a portfolio method for the assessment of two courses in Health Economics at UCL.  We will share student experience of what works and what does not.  The benefits and features of a portfolio that extends learning and builds foundation skills will be described with examples from our own work. Finally, we will explore the extent to which this assessment form differentiates students, stretching the able and supporting those feeling challenged by new concepts.

3. Sick Around the World: Activities for Understanding Health Systems for In-Class and Online
Presenter: Simon Condliffe, West Chester University

We seek to enhance student comprehension of health economics concepts and their understanding of health systems around the world. The first step is to expose students to health care data that reinforce economic theory. The second step is to connect domestic students with international students to provide a personal perspective on the differences in health care systems around the globe. These practical, active learning exercises help students to apply theory either in the classroom setting or online. Material can be tailored to suit undergraduate classes or graduate classes and the exercises can be performed with readily available data and technology.

4. Noricum: 10 Years of Student Designed Health Care Systems for a Fictitious Country
Presenter: Florian Buchner, Carinthia University

 About ten years ago, we created a role-play to simulate the scenario of a fictitious state (Noricum) to put students in a situation, where they have to tackle tradeoffs and conflicts of interest in a health care system by negotiations and legislation. The course is organized in three phases: (1) Conceptual phase - students take the roles of central interest groups and develop strategy papers including explicit goals and implementation strategies; (2) Action phase - phase of governmental legislative initiatives, negotiations and contracting between the interest groups; (3) Feedback phase is organized as a plenary workshop. Three key issues of the didactic concept are teaching by challenge, comprehensive feedback and constructive alignment.


Session 2 (10:30-12:00)
Active Learning in International Contexts
Facilitator: Dr. Jill B. Herndon, The University of Florida.

This “hands-on” session presents “active learning” methods in international contexts. After a short introduction, Dr. Herndon facilitates and interacts with small groups to promote active learning methods for health economics teaching and learning. She will focus on active learning in an international context.


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.


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


As an even greater number of countries strive towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Universal Social Protection (USP), IT systems that operate in a range of complex environments for multiple stakeholders avoiding silos are a need of the hour. This is reflected in the emerging principles for donor alignment in digital health, the UHC 2030 Agenda and in the principle of the Health Data Collaborative, as well as other on-going developments to strengthen the governance of digitalisation.

openIMIS is the first open source software for managing health financing interactions. It links beneficiary, provider and payer data. It is a powerful tool to strengthen strategic purchasing of health services and digital processing of health system data.

openIMIS has a modular and adoptable design. The modules cover the following business processes:

·       Enrolment and contribution collection

·       Beneficiary verification

·       Claims management

·       Client feedback

openIMIS has a front-end interface allowing for quick registration procedures even for remote, rural areas and can be used online and offline. The modules can be customized to specific countries` and organizational needs.

The broader Initiative seeks to create and nourish the relevant communities to establish openIMIS as a Global Good for Digital Health that is:

  • adaptable to different contexts
  • based on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)
  • governed by a clear structure with multiple funding sources
  • deployed at significant scale, across multiple countries
  • of demonstrated effectiveness
  • interoperable in design and an emergent standard application


Session details

Health financing mechanisms (such as insurance systems) capture a wealth of data on individuals, their families, their treatment, their health care costs, diagnosis patterns, prescribing behavior, cost of service provision, etc. In this workshop we will explore the ways in which such health system data has been/can be used to provide insights for public health system improvements in various settings. The focus will be on high as well as middle and low-income countries.

The core data elements captured in an exemplary health insurance system will be introduced to the participants along with some examples of the use of such data to trigger a facilitated brainstorming session around different possible use cases. Subsequent to the workshop these would be generalized into analytics requirements from health financing systems. The workshop would aim at gathering inputs for the openIMIS Initiative to contribute towards the development of an appropriate analytics module. The draft prepared with inputs from the workshop would be placed on a publicly available platform under a free to use Creative Commons License where further inputs and contributions can be made. The technological solution leading from these requirements will also be placed on the openIMIS repository under an Open Source license.

The workshop is expected to also raise discussions around the quality and quantity of data captured as well as challenges around sharing such data for public health research. In addition the opportunities and challenges around health data standards as pre-condition for interoperability in a country´s health information system will be explored. 


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

Lisa Robinson, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
David Wilson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Joseph Cook, Washington State University
Thomas Wilkinson, University of Cape Town

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.

Benefit-cost analysis is a powerful tool for supporting evidence-based decision-making, both within and outside of the healthcare sector. The reference case guidance, developed with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to increase the comparability of these analyses, improve their quality, and expand their use. It supplements the iDSI Reference Case, which provides general guidance for economic evaluation as well as guidance for conducting cost-effectiveness analysis. While the benefit-cost analysis guidance focuses on investments in low- and middle-income countries, it is also useful when assessing policies to be implemented in higher-income settings. More information on the project is provided here:

Preliminary Agenda (subject to change)
The agenda includes a series of short presentations and substantial opportunity for questions and discussion. Prior to the session, registrants will receive a set of optional background readings and references for additional information.



Introductions and Overview (Lisa A. Robinson)


Reference Case Purpose and Goals (David Wilson)


Benefit-Cost Analysis Concepts and Framework (Lisa A. Robinson)


Valuing Statistical Lives (Lisa A. Robinson)




Sanitation Case Study (Joseph Cook)


Tuberculosis Case Study (Thomas Wilkinson)


Wrap up


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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