Health Economics

Health economics is the sub-discipline of economics that focuses on the organization and delivery of medical care and health care outcomes and costs. It brings to bear theoretical insights and empirical tools tailored to a range of economic analysis, from the drivers of aggregate health care costs and its modification through new policies, regulations, and institutions at a macro level, to the nature of individual patient and provider decision-making under different payment and institutional regimes at the micro level. Examples of health economics research include analyses of costs and outcomes associated with different payment mechanisms; the effects of patent law on pharmaceutical innovation and cost; cost-benefit analyses of innovations in health care organization, finance and delivery; and cost-effectiveness analyses of new devices, treatments, and protocols of care.

We support a wide range of analyses across all aspects of health economics.


Examples of services and expertise we provide:

  • Analysis of health care cost and utilization data at the specialty, clinic, organizational, and system levels
  • Cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost identification analyses
  • Health policy evaluation
  • Writing sections describing health economic analyses in IRB protocols, grant applications, and manuscripts

Data Examples

Examples of data that can be marshaled to conduct cross-sectional and longitudinal health economics research:

  • Health care claims data
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Utah’s all payer claims database (APCD)
  • MarketScan database
  • Electronic medical record (EMR) data
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • University of Utah
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Medical Expenditures Panel Survey
  • Health Care Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) National Inpatient Sample (NIS) and Statewide Inpatient Database (SID)
  • Utah Population Database (UPDB) linked to Utah State Inpatient Discharge, ER, and Ambulatory Data

Section Director

Norman Waitzman, PhD


Jaewhan Kim, PhD (Associate Director)
Richard Nelson, PhD (Associate Director)
Charles Hawley, MA