QALYs -The basis of rationing healthcare

February 8, 2011

witchround

QALYs – THE BASICS

“In using QALYs, we assume that a major objective of decision- makers is to maximize health or health improvement across the population subject to resource constraints. The use of QALYs further assumes that health or health improvement can be mea- sured or valued based on amounts of time spent in various health states. The conventional QALY is therefore a valuation of health benefit.”

“QALYs have made an important contribution to decision- making within the health field. Within the qualifications noted above, the conventional QALY remains a powerful conceptual tool that we believe can lead to improved decision-making. QALYs help to make choices, but there are many other dimen- sions to decision-making within the health-care arena, dimen- sions not covered by the conventional QALY. Nevertheless, the conventional QALYs are not intended to incorporate all concerns of decision-makers [4]. Given the assumptions and the difficulties posed in measurement, it is important to maintain caution in the use of the QALY. It is nonetheless our view that the conventional QALY retains an important role in health-care decision-making.”

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