The United States spends more of its national income on medical care than any other country, yet Americans live shorter lives and suffer more poor health than citizens of other high-income countries. The problems are not limited to any one group in the population, or to any one area of medical care. Instead, they reflect a failure to focus attention on identifying high-value care and ensuring that everyone receives it. Cost-effectiveness analyses, which evaluate the health achieved by medical services, and their costs, provide the foundation for improving the allocation of medical resources and making the U.S. a leader in good health.

Working Group Goals

The primary goal of the Identifying High-Value Health Care Working Group is to bring together Penn investigators to build Penn’s capacity to provide high-quality, evidence-based analyses that contribute to the improvement of population health in the United States. Cost-effectiveness analysis is by its nature multidisciplinary, combining clinical medicine, epidemiology, simulation modeling, statistics, economics, and other disciplines, so this working group welcomes investigators from clinical care and related disciplines who share the goal of identifying the best uses of the resources the U.S. devotes to medical care. This working group aims to:

  1. Promote collaborations within Penn and with others outside Penn to conduct analyses that inform evidence-based policy;
  2. Advise Penn investigators about existing and planned cost-effectiveness analyses;
  3. Promote high-quality analyses.

Ways We Can Support You

  • Advise on Proposal and Manuscript Development: At least quarterly, and more often as warranted, the group holds work-in-progress meetings to review and discuss ongoing projects or new proposals. We can provide individualized study design support upon request and as time permits. To receive updates on the next meeting, please email Heidi Harvie or Louise Russell.
  • Provide Short Webinars on Key Elements of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Methods:  Usually, these segments are included in the work-in-progress meetings to introduce the principles and resources relevant to the project presented at that meeting.
  • Provide Links to Key Cost-Effectiveness Readings and Resources
    • The VA’s Health Economics Resource Center (HERC) frequently gives webinars, open to anyone, on cost-effectiveness analysis. Past webinars, along with their slides and recorded videos, are available here
    • The Science of Making Better Decisions About Health: Cost-Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit Analysis.” Louise B. Russell. Section IV in Kaplan R., Spittel M., David D. (editors), Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights. AHRQ publication No. 15-0002. Rockville MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health, July 2015.

Get Involved

Working group membership is open to all members of the Penn and CHOP communities, and others by permission. Sign up here.

Initiative Leads

Heidi Harvie

Heidi Harvie, MD, MSCE, MBA

Director, Penn Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Pennsylvania Hospital; Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perelman School of Medicine

Louise Russell

Louise Russell, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine