Health economic assessment: a methodological primer

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Dec;6(12):2950-66. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6122950. Epub 2009 Nov 27.


This review article aims to provide an introduction to the methodology of health economic assessment of a health technology. Attention is paid to defining the fundamental concepts and terms that are relevant to health economic assessments. The article describes the methodology underlying a cost study (identification, measurement and valuation of resource use, calculation of costs), an economic evaluation (type of economic evaluation, the cost-effectiveness plane, trial- and model-based economic evaluation, discounting, sensitivity analysis, incremental analysis), and a budget impact analysis. Key references are provided for those readers who wish a more advanced understanding of health economic assessments.

Keywords: budget impact analysis; cost study; economic evaluation; health economics; health technology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Biomedical Technology / economics*
  • Budgets
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Making
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic