Health Economics is one of the interesting topics to study. It is defined as the branch of economics concerned with issues related to the effectiveness, efficiency, value and behavior in producing and consuming, health and healthcare. Due to its broad scope, your instructor may ask you to create a presentation on a related topic of your choice.
You can always check our 20 topics on health economics for a presentation to find a topic that best suits you or you can scroll down to check the following ten facts for inspiration.
- There is a current debate as to whether healthcare is a want or need. Health care becomes a want depending upon one very important factor, which is if a person is either earning handsomely or just the bare minimum. If a person is earning generously, they will try to avoid going through pain and discomfort using any means possible. On the other hand, those earning less will try to avoid expensive health care in any way possible. However, health care becomes a necessity for people who are aging, especially those living on their own.
- Health economics is a way to improve existing health systems or create new structures altogether. A certain value can be added to the health system if each resource is allocated in a smart and efficient way.
- The reason why health economics needed an extra category under the umbrella of general economics is because health care takes a huge chunk out of a country’s economy. In the United States, health care is a huge concern as it consumes over 16 percent of the country’s GDP. As the population of USA increases every year, more people require health care services. Not only does this exponential growth of health care requirements affect the government budget, it also affects the profitability of private sectors.
- Health is generally considered to be one of the basic human rights by the World Health Organization. While this seems like a very accurate statement, economically attaining absolutely free health care system is a huge strain on a country’s economy. Once again, optimizing health economics is one of the most effective methods to minimize costs.
- Adverse Selection is a very basic principle that a student of health economics must learn. This is when either the buyer or the seller of health care insurance has prior information about each the other which they obscure from one another for personal benefit. In simpler terms, it is when the buyer of the policy hides key facts about their medical history or the seller unethically finds out information that will lead them towards rejecting applications of people whose medical history is costly. Basically, if the seller or the buyer manipulates asymmetrically acquired information in a way that it benefits them on account of the other party, this is considered to be adverse selection.
- Health care costs have skyrocketed in the United States and this has been a huge topic of discussion amongst many sectors. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s health statistics, health care costs have doubled since the year 2000 as it has grown from 1.2 trillion dollars to 2.3 trillion dollars. According to various national surveys, the cost of health insurance, out of pocket costs and national health expenses are rising as each year passes by.
- According to the CIA, the US stands at a surprisingly 43rd rank when it comes to life expectancy in the entire world. Similarly, it stands at a disappointing 167th position in the world in terms of infant mortality. A study also found out that the USA’s percentage of stopping preventable deaths is declining in great numbers as compared to the healthcare system of Japan and Australia.
- The size of the hospital affects the cost of treatment due to several very important reasons. A larger establishment can have a larger network of specialized medical units. This compartmentalization can lead to efficient treatment and, more importantly, extra throughput of treated patients. Through basic economics, the cost of treatment drops because the supply increases due to a larger efficient system. Moreover, a larger institute can afford to buy supplies in bulk quantities. All of this boils down to the ethical code of the hospital. To ensure that the system is not manipulated, medical establishments that create supply-monopoly and perform unnecessary treatments for profit can be held accountable and punished by the law if their misconduct is exposed.
- According to various studies, the supply of labor can be increased if there is improved healthcare provided. However, this has its side effects too. If the economic growth is incapable of withstanding the sudden influx of labor, there will be no profit in the per capita output. The results can actually be very devastating as the unemployment rate will increase. Generally speaking, health economics is not immune to the overall economic growth of the country. Therefore, if the healthcare system is improved in a poor society, it will have adverse effects such as rise in population, increase in poverty, and poor health of the population.
- If a balance is created between the overall economic growth and health economics, the results can be very opposite. Improved health of the employees can result in a substantial bump in the production efficiency and the cost per unit drops accordingly. If the overall health conditions of an area improve, that can also start housing projects as people will become more prosperous. A good health program increases the overall morale as well, motivating entrepreneurs to start small businesses. Health economics is an extremely important study because it is the very connection between the basic health and the resources required to sustain it. Resources do not just mean money, though; they can also be the amount of people, material and time. These resources are not infinite and, therefore, they need to be allocated and managed systematically.
Once you decide on a topic from these, do not forget to check out our guide on how to write a presentation about health economics to come up with an excellent presentation which your instructors will grade you generously for.
Bhattacharya, J., Hyde, T., & Tu, P. (n.d.). Health Economics.
Gruber, J., & Newquist, H. P. (2011). Health Rare Reform: What it is, why it’s necessary, how it works. New York: Hill and Wang.
Health Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/1/67.long
Sloan, F. A., & Hsieh, C. (2012). Health economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
COUNTRY COMPARISON :: LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html
Drummond, M., & Drummond, M. (2005). Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Is the US Population Behaving Healthier? (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.nber.org/papers/w13013