Health economics: an introduction for clinicians

Ann Intern Med. 1987 Jul;107(1):88-92. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-107-1-88.


Economic issues have had a growing importance in the health care field as the sector's share of the gross national product has risen. Clinicians are under increasing pressure to adopt more cost-effective treatment practices as a result of initiatives being taken by the major third-party payers, government, and business. However, recent publications suggest that there are some misconceptions about economics in health care and the extent to which it is in conflict with good clinical practice. To provide a foundation for the understanding of this field by clinicians, we have outlined several basic notions of health economics.

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Health Policy / economics
  • Health Resources / supply & distribution
  • Health Services / economics
  • Health Status
  • Marketing of Health Services
  • Moral Obligations
  • Resource Allocation*
  • Social Values