Health Gain

Definition

Health Economics

  • An increase in the health of an individual or a population. In health economics, the term is usually used in the context of an explicit comparator, for example, health gain from having health care rather than not having it, or the health gain to be had from use of a particular technology (perhaps new) compared with another (perhaps the cur rently standard treatment). It is rarely used in a ' before and after ' sense. Thus, in the figures, let A represent health state at time t0, B represent health state at time t1 after the application of a health care technology and C represent health state at time t1 after the application of another (comparator) health care technology. Then, beginning at t0, a prognosis may follow the trajectory A ' B (using technology 1) or A ' C (using technology 2). Expected health gain (from using technology 1 relative to technology 2) at t1 is the vertical distance between points B and C, not the vertical distance between B and A in either figure. In short, there may be an expected health gain even when health falls, provided that the technology in question entails a less dramatic reduction than the best alternative.
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