Health economics research enables policymakers to make evidence-based decisions on how to allocate limited health care resources efficiently. Efficiency here is not necessarily about cutting costs, but rather about determining how to derive the maximum total benefit from limited available resources.
In the same way that evidence-based medicine makes use of formal evidence on effectiveness of interventions, health economics answer the need to formally assess the implications of choices about the deployment of resources. Since resource use is best expressed in costs, a number of economic evaluation techniques have been developed to compare costs and clinical outcomes of competing treatment alternatives in order to identify the most efficient treatment.
The Health Economics Working Group at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg was established as a collaboration between the Center for Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, the Clinical Trials Unit, and the University Heart Centre. We have a strong methodological background in regression modelling and econometrics. In addition to our own research projects, we provide methodological support for economic evaluations across all types of clinical research.
Cost-benefit analyses of medical interventions from the hospital perspective
Borde, J.P., S. Nussbaum, S. Hauser, P. Hehn, J. Hübner, G. Sitaru, S. Köller, B. Schweigert, K.d. With, W.V. Kern and K. Kaier (2016): Implementing an intensified antibiotic stewardship programme targeting daptomycin use in orthopaedic surgery: a cost-benefit analysis from the hospital perspective. Infection 44(3):301-307.
Economic evaluations using data from patient registries
Wolff, J., P. McCrone, A. Patel, K. Kaier and C. Normann (2015): Predictors of length of stay in psychiatry: analyses of electronic medical records. BMC Psychiatry 15:238.
Gutmann, A., K. Kaier, S. Sorg, C. von zur Mühlen, M. Siepe, M. Moser, A. Geibel, A. Zirlik, I. Ahrens, H. Baumbach, F. Beyersdorf, W. Vach, M. Zehender, C. Bode and J. Reinöhl (2015): Analysis of the additional costs of clinical complications in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the German Health Care System, International Journal of Cardiology 179: 231-237.
Jabbarli, R., M. Shah, C. Taschner, K. Kaier, B. Hippchen and V. Van Velthoven (2014): Clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of CT-angiography in the diagnosis of nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, Neuroradiology 56(10): 817-824.
Secondary data analyses using the German DRG statistics
Kaier, K., H. Reinecke, H. Nacy, L. Frankenstein, M. Bode, W. Vach, P. Hehn, A. Zirlik, M. Zehender and J. Reinöhl (2017): The impact of post-procedural complications on reimbursement, length of stay and mechanical ventilation among patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation in Germany, European Journal of Health Economics [Epub ahead of print].
Kaier, K., H. Reinecke, C. Schmoor, L. Frankenstein, W. Vach, P. Hehn, A. Zirlik, C. Bode, M. Zehender and J. Reinöhl (2017): Learning Curves Among All Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation in Germany: A Retrospective Observational Study, International Journal of Cardiology [Epub ahead of print].
Reinöhl, J., K. Kaier, H. Reinecke, L. Frankenstein, A. Zirlik, M. Zehender, C. von Zur Mühlen, C. Bode and P. Stachon (2016): Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: The New Standard in Patients With Previous Coronary Bypass Grafting? JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions 9(20):2137-2143.
Reinöhl J., K. Kaier, H. Reinecke, C. Schmoor, L. Frankenstein, W. Vach, A. Cribier, F. Beyersdorf, C. Bode and M. Zehender (2015) Effect of Availability of Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Replacement on Clinical Practice. New England Journal of Medicine 373(25): 2438-2447.
Economic evaluations alongside clinical trials
Kaier, K., S. Hils, S. Fetzer, P. Hehn, A. Schmid, D. Hauschke, L. Bogatyreva, B. Jänigen and P. Pisarski (2017): Results of a randomized controlled trial analyzing telemedically supported case management in the first year after living donor kidney transplantation - a budget impact analysis from the healthcare perspective, Health Economics Review 7:1.
Kaier, K., A. Gutmann, H. Baumbach, C. von Zur Mühlen, P. Hehn, W. Vach, F. Beyersdorf, M. Zehender, C. Bode and J. Reinöhl (2016): Quality of life among elderly patients undergoing transcatheter or surgical aortic valve replacement - a model-based longitudinal data analysis, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 14(1): 109.
Kaier, K., A. Gutmann, W. Vach, S. Sorg, M. Siepe, C. von Zur Mühlen, M. Moser, P. Blanke, F. Beyersdorf, M. Zehender, C. Bode and J. Reinöhl (2015): "Heart Team" decision making in elderly patients with symptomatic aortic valve stenosis who underwent AVR or TAVI-a look behind the curtain. Results of the prospective TAVI Calculation of Costs Trial (TCCT), EuroIntervention 11(8):793-798.
Reinöhl, J., K. Kaier, A. Gutmann, S. Sorg, C. von Zur Mühlen, M. Siepe, H. Baumbach, M. Moser, A. Geibel, A. Zirlik, P. Blanke, W. Vach, F. Beyersdorf, C. Bode and M. Zehender (2015): In-hospital resource utilization in surgical and transcatheter aortic valve replacement. BMC Cardiovascular Disorder 15:132.
The economics of infectious diseases
Heister, K. Kaier and M. Wolkewitz (2015): Estimating the burden of nosocomial infections: Time dependency and cost clustering should be taken into account, American Journal of Infection Control 45(1): 94-95. Link
Heister, T., C. Hagist and K. Kaier (2015): Resistance Elasticity of Antibiotic Demand in Intensive Care, Health Economics [Epub ahead of print]. Link
Kaier, K. and U. Frank (2013): In search of useful methods for measuring health and economic consequences of antimicrobial resistance, Clinical Infectious Diseases 57(8): 1220-1222.
Kaier, K. (2012): Economic implications of the dynamic relationship between antibiotic use and hospital-acquired infections, Value in Health 15(1): 87-93.
Kaier, K. (2012): Economic modeling of the persistence of antimicrobial resistance, Natural Resource Modeling, 25(2): 388-402.
Kaier, K. and S. Moog (2012): Economic consequences of the demography of MRSA patients and the impact of broad-spectrum antimicrobials, Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 10(4): 227-234.
Kaier, K. (2013): The impact of pricing and patent expiration on demand for pharmaceuticals: an examination of the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials, Health Economics, Policy and Law 8(1): 7-20.
Kaier, K. and U. Frank (2010): Measuring the externality of antibacterial use from promoting antimicrobial resistance, PharmacoEconomics 28(12): 1123-1128.
Economic considerations of benefit assessment in Germany
Kaier, K. and S. Fetzer (2015): Das Arzneimittelmarktneuordnungsgesetz (AMNOG) aus ökonomischer Sicht, Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz 58: 291-297.
Schwander, B., K. Banz, K. Kaier and S. Walzer (2014): Evaluation of a Possible Predictor for Federal Joint Committee Decisions on Early Benefit Assessments according to the German Action the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products, Health Policy 117(3): 334-344.
phone +49 (0) 761-203-6721
Thomas Heister, economist
Matthias Olivier, medical student