Konrad Obermann, Christian Thielscher
"A fascinating introduction to health economics, blending genuine expertise in both medicine and economics. Everything that medics need to know about economics, and everything that economists need to know about medicine." – Richard Cookson, Professor of Health Economics, University of York
"Obermann and Thielscher provide us with a novel take on the messy, complex business of health policy, compiling perspectives from economics, epidemiology, medicine and psychology. From Markov models, price elasticity, uncertainty and marginal analysis to theories of political justice, strategies to nudge healthy behaviour, and questions such as whether a dictatorship in health is on the rise, this book is essential reading for those looking for a tour de force of medical economics." – Matthew Jowett, Senior Health Financing Specialist, World Health Organization
"Highly recommended. An excellent reference for policy-makers, public health workers and social reformers seeking to improve healthcare for their citizens." – Manuel M. Dayrit MD, former Secretary of Health, Republic of the Philippines
Health economics has become an established field of enquiry over recent years and is now an important contributor to normative health policy, and decisions concerning the allocation of resources and the quality of healthcare provision across the world.
Medical Economics, written by two physicians who are also qualified economists, introduces readers to the core economic considerations in healthcare provision and management. Addressing concerns that are relevant to both the individual and to public health, the authors draw on a wider range of economic tools and analytical frameworks than typically offered by standard textbooks. Combining thought experiments with real-world examples they illustrate the healthcare challenges facing today’s policy-makers.
The book is aimed specifically at courses in medicine, public health, and healthcare management and administration, but also at economists looking for a broader perspective on healthcare systems, including healthcare financing, markets, the role of the state and other macroeconomic considerations, evaluation methods, healthcare technology, paying for medical care, health insurance and ethical issues.
Introduction: approaching health economics
Part I Health, healthcare, and healthcare systems 1. Understanding “health” in health economics 2. From disease to care 3. Ethics, values and the idea of a good life 4. Medicine as a business: caring for patients and managing a business 5. Financing healthcare 6. The relation between macroeconomics and health 7. Comparing health systems
Part II Health economic theory 8. Approaching healthcare from an economic point of view 9. The standard in current economics: neoclassical economics 10. Markets, market failure, state intervention and state failure 11. Options to finance medical care 12. Evaluation methods in health economics 13. Health technology and health technology assessment 14. Paying for medical care: balancing appropriateness, quality, and cost
Part III From theory to practice: using medical economics to improve global health 15. Medical economics: an applied interdisciplinary science that looks at evidence, considers complexity and implements what works 16. Global health and social health protection 17. Towards rational financing for healthcare 18. Priority setting and essential health service packages 19. The Covid-19 outbreak and the role of medical economics in responding to global health threats Epilogue: moving beyond the commoditization of health and making better use of the "dismal science"
Konrad Obermann is Senior Staff Scientist at the Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University. He is a medical doctor and economist with over 25 years experience in clinical care, research and strategic planning. His particular research interests are in international health economics, health system development and healthcare financing.
Christian Thielscher is Director of the Competence Center for Medical Economics at FOM University, Essen, Germany. He is editor of the successful 2-volume textbook on health economics, Medizinokonomie (Springer, 2015).