Health Economics

Health economics applies an economic lens to program and policy questions related to health and healthcare. SRDC’s expertise in economic evaluation and analysis also includes the economic evaluation of health policies, programs, and interventions from a variety of perspectives, including those of patient and family/caregiver, service provider, organization, and health systems. SRDC’s work in the area of health economics can provide insight into efficient and equitable resource allocation in health systems and services. Additionally, SRDC’s work focuses on equitable access to health services, and equitable distribution of health outcomes across various populations in Canada, and along continua of care.

Current and Completed Projects:

Economic burden of cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, and works to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. In 2017, the Partnership initiated a new program of work to quantify the economic burden of cancer and enhance system capacity for evidence-based decision-making using economic data and methods. In preparation for developing national estimates on the burden of cancer, the Partnership has engaged SRDC to conduct evidence reviews in three areas: the direct burden of cancer on patients and families/caregivers in terms of direct, out-of-pocket and time costs; the indirect burden in terms of productivity loss; and psychosocial burden such as pain and suffering. In each of these three areas, SRDC is conducting a comprehensive review of the Canadian and international research literature, and developing an inventory of methods and tools used to measure burden and estimate related costs; key informant interviews will supplement knowledge gained from the review. The results of these three evidence reviews will help identify opportunities to improve decisions for resource allocation and program funding.

Start-end date: June 2018 - November 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Community Food Centres Canada – Economic Evaluation

Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) was launched in 2012 to fund and support the scaling up of a community-centered model in low-income neighbourhoods where food is used as a tool to build health, belonging, and social justice. In addition to investing in community food centres and the programs they provide, CFCC empowers 140 Good Food Organizations to offer responsive and respectful community food programs, and speaks out on issues of poverty, poor health, and social isolation that affect our communities, as well as creates opportunities for communities and concerned Canadians to take action. SRDC will work with CFCC to conduct an economic evaluation of CFCC’s diverse array of programs nationally. SRDC will develop a quantitative model and template for CFCC to be able to analyze current cost and program data, and identify how data currently being collected by community food centres could be used to inform further program cost analyses, as well as economic evaluations that take into account both costs and benefits.

Start-end date: June 2018 - February 2019
Sponsor: Community Food Centres Canada

Patient Portal Value Proposition

SRDC is working with Canada Health Infoway to assess the value and impact of Canadians’ access to online Personal Health Records (PHR) in terms of accessibility, quality, and productivity in healthcare. As a part of this study, SRDC is completing a targeted literature review and evidence synthesis focused on the value of Canadians of being able to access their online healthcare information. This work will support the development of a quantitative model estimating the value of such access for citizens and health system stakeholders. SRDC will also help to identify critical success factors that maximize the benefits of online PHR access. The primary audiences for this project include federal and provincial/territorial ministries of health, health systems organizations, and digital health leaders.

Start-end date: July 2017 - December 2018
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

Supporting Analyses of Cost Effectiveness for Innovation Strategy Interventions

Through its Innovation Strategy, the Public Health Agency of Canada funds and supports promising interventions to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, particularly in terms of achieving healthier weights and promoting mental health. To strengthen these public health interventions' readiness for scale-up, SRDC developed an approach that provided information on various ways to understand project costs and financial valuation of benefits, and considerations for determining which approach to economic assessment would be most appropriate and feasible for them. These approaches were selected with respect to best practices for conducting economic assessment, consistency with the IS program's focus on equity and population health, and leveraging the extensive data on IS projects' processes and outcomes.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada