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Health Economic Methods Workshop


The course teaches skills in applying net benefit correspondence theorem (NBCT) methods developed by presenters. While simple to use these methods are shown to enable flexible while robust analysis in multiple strategy, multiple domain, efficiency in practice and at individual or population level analysis. Flexibility of the NBCT is conferred by a one to one correspondence uniquely providing radial properties consistent with net benefit and the ability to integrate across dimensions, while coverage and comparability conditions of the method also provide a robust framework for avoiding bias. Such flexibility and robust analysis is illustrated to be key for evaluation of community as well as individual based interventions or strategies and from health promotion interventions in early childhood through to successful ageing and palliative care provision.

Course Type
Half Day

Course Level

Format Requirements

The course uses seminars and tutorial based learning to teach from first principles the methods, principles and practical skills to undertake net benefit correspondence theorem analysis. These methods while simple to use with excel software provided are shown to enable robust and flexible health economic evaluation of multiple strategy, multiple domain or practice evaluation and across both individual and community based interventions and strategies. Further, the methods are shown to provide the most relevant summary measures for societal decision making in each of these settings. Participants do not require any former knowledge as a prerequisite. Never the less those wanting immediate familiarity can read about the key methods in the Health Economics from Theory to Practice text (chapters 8-10 for NBCT methods, chapters 4 and 12 for community level analysis and policy analysis and the text more generally for optimising joint research, reimbursement and regulatory decisions).

Description & Objectives
The course teaches from first principles and illustrates applications of a flexible while robust method, the net benefit correspondence theorem that enables analysis of multiple strategies, domains of effects and practice comparisons required to adequately evaluate individual and community based interventions and strategies across the lifespan.

The course key objectives are to provide participants with the principles and methods to:

Best compare and summarise costs effectiveness evidence across multiple strategies with application of the net benefit correspondence theorem and summary expected net loss curves and frontiers (Eckermann 2004, 2017; Eckermann, Briggs and Willan 2008; Eckermann and Willan 2011). These summary measures directly inform societal decision making of both net benefit maximising strategies with current evidence under uncertainty and the potential expected value of further research at any threshold value for a single health effect. Such analysis is particularly key to comparing multimodal interventions, diagnostic strategies and precision medicine approaches;
Undertake efficiency measurement of providers or strategies in practice (Eckermann 2004, 2017; Eckermann and Coelli 2013), where net benefit correspondence methods uniquely enable efficiency measures consistent with maximising net benefit. Robust analysis is preserved with coverage and comparability conditions supporting data linkage and risk adjustment in preventing cost shifting and cream skimming incentives;
Best compare cost effectiveness across multiple domains of effect under uncertainty (McCaffrey 2014; McCaffrey and Eckermann 2017; McCaffrey et al 2015), with NBCT methods uniquely enable easy extension of joint cost and effect analysis and summary measures to multi (indeed n) dimensional. These methods are shown to be critical for enabling coverage and robust analysis in palliative care where key domains are unable to be integrated with survival and more generally useful for joint consideration of effects under uncertainty and without prejudging societal decision making relative values for effects.

Course Director
Simon Eckermann
Senior Professor of Health Economics, Australian Health Services Research Instiitute, University of Wollongong

His original research has established optimal decision making method across research, reimbursement and regulation in practice and are extensively published in the highest impact health economics clinical and policy journals.

Related principles and methods have been taught by Professor Eckermann to more than 500 students from a wide range of clinical, research, policy and health technology assessment backgrounds since 2000, with the 'Health Economics from Theory to Practice' course he established with Professor Willan in 2005 consistently rated by participants as the best course of its type internationally.

The related Health Economics from Theory to Practice text (Eckermann 2017) combines principles and robust methods for jointly optimising:
(i) evidence synthesis and translation (Eckermann, Coory and Willan 2009, 2011);
(ii) comparison of multiple strategies (Eckermann, Briggs and Willan 2008; Eckermann and Willan 2011);
(iii) evaluation of health promotion and prevention programs allowing for network multiplier effects (Eckermann et al 2014);
(iv) health care efficiency and providers in practice consistent with maximising net benefit in allowing for quality of care (Eckermann and Coelli 2013; Eckermann 2004);
(v) multiple domain comparisons, particularly critical to evaluation of areas such as palliative care (McCaffrey et al 2015);
(vi) research design allowing for relevant policy contexts (Eckermann, Karnon and Willan 2010; Eckermann and Willan 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; Willan and Eckermann 2010, 2012);
(vii) adoption, pricing and financing of new technology consistent with the health shadow price (Pekarsky 2012, 2014, Eckermann and Pekarsky 2014) and;
(viii) health and aged care policy reform for budget constrained successful ageing of baby boomer populations policy (Eckermann 2014; Eckermann and Sheridan 2016; Eckermann, Sheridan and Ivers 2016).

He is a CI on successful competitive research grants totalling more than A$26 million since 2005 and actively sits on and undertakes guideline revision and health economics educational activities for National and International decision making bodies. These bodies have included the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Economic Sub-Committee, National Palliative Care Trials Scientific Committee, Prostheses List Advisory Committee, Victorian Cancer Agency, Food Standards ANZ, the Medical Decision Making editorial board as well as various NHMRC grant review committees.

Health Report interviews with Norman Swan

Venue Map & Contact Event Organiser


Conference & Events Centre
National Wine Centre of Australia
Hackney Road & Botanic Road
South Australia Australia 5000

Event Organiser

Event Secretariat, Eventful Projects
08 7071 1010

Email Organiser