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Health Economics Core

Health economics is an empirically-driven science of relating health outcomes to the costs of achieving those outcomes and the organization and delivery of healthcare. In particular, the University of Utah Health Economics Core uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to determine cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, return on investment and cost-utility of new clinical treatments, devices, protocols, policies, and other clinical interventions and healthcare and public health programs. We relate costs to important patient and health system outcomes such as quality of life, mortality, preventive screening utilization, disease incidence and many other outcomes that are critical in promoting value-based care. In addition, we evaluate the economic impact of policy and regulatory environments on the healthcare system. Furthermore, our analyses are responsive and accessible to a wide range of perspectives including patients, medical centers, funders and other stakeholders that require these analyses in order to make informed decisions over funding and translating results into practice.


The Health Economics Core consists of PhD economists with decades of experience and extensive publications in designing and implementing economic evaluations of complex healthcare interventions and programs. We have expertise in examining and analyzing a wide-ranging variety of databases ranging from patient-level data associated with randomized control trials, public health programs, and other interventions to “big data” such as state and national medical claims and electronic health record databases. Furthermore, the Health Economics Core can provide cutting-edge analyses as well as innovative approaches to economic evaluation of novel interventions, programs, and policies.

Mission & Services

Our mission is to partner with and help researchers, program managers, healthcare and public health practitioners and others at the University of Utah and beyond to incorporate economic evaluation within their studies and programs and to help develop competitive grant submissions and disseminate research findings that have broad impact. Toward this end, we provide the following services:
•    Help with study design, analysis and interpretation of healthcare cost, utilization and outcomes data at the patient, organization, or system levels as well as state and national levels.
•    Identification of appropriate data sources and linkages between data sources
•    Undertake cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-utility, return on investment, and other analyses of economic evaluation
•    Help with the drafting of IRB protocols, grant applications, manuscripts and other dissemination activities that require economic analyses
•    Forecast long-term costs and benefits from multiple stakeholder perspectives
•    Provide education and mentoring of researchers, colleagues, trainees and students through one-on-one collaboration, symposia, seminars, and courses
•    Developing new methodologies relating to economic evaluation of healthcare interventions, programs and policies


Section Director

Fernando Wilson, PhD


Jaewhan Kim, PhD (Associate Director)
Richard Nelson, PhD (Associate Director)
Norman Waitzman, PhD
Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, PhD
Minkyoung Yoo, PhD
Hyunkyu Ko, PhD
Moosa Tatar, PhD
Simon Ruhnke, MS