What is a quality-adjusted life year?
A quality-adjusted life year is a year of life that is free of any problems, symptoms or health related disabilities. It is a concept or a measure of determining the performance of medical treatments and interventions. For instance, calculations are made based on the cost per life gained by different treatment options. The quality-adjusted life year makes it possible to compare different programs directly.
How can it be used to compare differences in health status between someone who is healthy and someone who is not? Can it be used to compare health outcomes of someone who is ill with someone who has died?
Quality adjusted life years can be used to evaluate the health status of healthy and unhealthy individuals by assigning scores of maybe 1.0 as the highest level of being healthy and 0.0 as being the lowest level of healthiness or death. It becomes a challenge to compare health outcomes of people who are ill and those who are dead because death exist beyond the conscious experience of people hence it becomes a challenge to compare different levels of health with death.
Indicate at which point flat-of-the-curve medicine is experienced in the following example (imagine that antibiotics have been prescribed for a given population of 1,000 elderly persons).
The flat-of-curve medicine represents medicare that has little or produces no improvement in health. Further, the expenditures incurred in the process of the different medicines may continue to increase despite the application of different test used to try to improve the condition of the patient. The flat-of-the-curve medicine is experienced when the number of prescriptions for the given population of the elderly population reaches 500. The increase in the number of prescriptions beyond this point has no effect in decreasing the number of hospitalizations for pneumonia. At 500 prescriptions, there are still some benefits in that overall the number of hospitalizations does not increase. The problem at this point is that marginal costs are likely to be higher.
What are direct and indirect costs?
Direct costs are money expenditures, which can be traced directly to a cost object or a certain department. These may include transportation, household goods and special diets. Indirect costs are unpaid resource commitments. Indirect cost cannot be directly linked to a certain department or cost activity. For example, work time lost by unpaid caregivers.
4. Determine whether and how each of the following factors would shift the demand curve for chiropractic visits: a. An increase in the out-of-pocket price of chiropractic visits
There will be a reduction in the chiropractic visits because of an increase in the out-of-pocket price of the chiropractic visits. Thus, movement would occur along the demand curve in the upward direction. No shift occurs.b. An increase in back problems
If the number of back problems increases, people will need to visit the chiropractor hence causing the demand curve to shift to the right. This will be the case since people will have the need to alleviate the pain from their back problems.
c. A reduction in the out-of-pocket price for chiropractic visits
When the cost of chiropractic visits are reduced the number of individuals who will seek out medical help from the chiropractor will increase significantly. Thus, movement will occur downwards in the demand. No shift in the curve will be experienced.d An aging of the population
Increase in an aging population means that more people have back problems. Hence, the demand curve will shift to the left.e. An increase in the out-of-pocket price of back surgery (a substitute for chiropractic services)
An increase in the out-of-pocket price will cause a upward movement in the demand curve and not a shift as there is a change in price.f. A reduction in the price of radiographs (a complement of chiropractic services)
A reduction in the price of radiographs will cause a movement in the demand curve and not a shift as there is a change in price.g. An advertising campaign that makes people more aware of the benefits of chiropractic
An advertising campaign will cause the demand curve to shift to the right of and move in the upward direction.
Drummond, M. F. (2005). Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes (3rd
ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jacobs, P., & Rapoport, J. (2004). The economics of health and medical care (5th ed.). Sudbury,
MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.