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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis

Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


CHEPA researchers have helped shape Canada’s health system for more than a quarter-century. They continue that tradition today, investigating pressing issues such as the relationship between doctors’ pay and health system costs; ethical concerns related to who gets what care and who has a say in it, and whether evidence supports the health decisions being made.

The centre was founded in 1988 by a group of health economics and health policy analysis pioneers -  Greg Stoddart, Jonathan Lomas, Roberta Labelle, David FeenyGeorge Torrance and Amiram Gafni - to be a multidisciplinary centre with research, teaching and service activities that provide timely and relevant evidence to inform policy-making at all levels of the health-care system.

It continues this tradition today, working at the intersection of the health and social sciences, evaluating how Ontario’s health system is performing and supporting the development of policies to enhance the system’s effectiveness and sustainability. Evidence about what works and what could be improved derives from the study of how well policies achieve their objectives and the consideration of values such as fairness and patient-centredness.

Using the tools of economics, sociology, political science and ethics, CHEPA researchers address issues such as:

  • Explaining and measuring the factors that cause social inequalities in health.
  • Finding the best ways to pay health-care providers and manage human resources to achieve higher quality and better outcomes for the money spent.
  • Researching the best methods for assessing new health technologies and treatments, as well as the social implications of these methods.
  • Assessing the roles of values and ethical considerations in health policy.
  • Using public and community engagement to learn about the health system.
  • Finding ways to support evidence-informed policymaking.

CHEPA’s knowledge exchange program, which uses multiple strategies for communicating and sharing information, ensures the knowledge generated through the work of its members is effectively communicated to health system decision-makers and other stakeholders. Collaboration with those who use the research ensures that CHEPA’s work meets the specific needs of these individuals and groups. Complementary initiatives, such as a rapid-response evidence service and training, enables health system leaders to identify and act on evidence and values in a timely way.

  • Multidisciplinary CHEPA-led team awarded CIHR grant for economic forecasting

    CHEPA is proud to announce that it has been awarded a one-year $265,000 Operating Grant for economic forecasting for its research project, Investing in primary and secondary prevention: Economic forecasting to inform policies regarding amortization of program costs, by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The funding is part of a joint initiative of the CIHR and the J.W. McConnell Foundation that will see CIHR contribute $175,000 and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation contribute $90,000.

    Jeremiah HurleyThe research will be co-led by Jeremiah Hurley, left, Dean of McMaster University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and a member of CHEPA, and CHEPA Jean-Eric Tarride Director Jean-Eric Tarride, right.  It involves a large multi-disciplinary team of experts from academia and government that includes eight other CHEPA members – Laura AndersonDavid FeenyMichel GrignonEmmanuel GuindonChristopher LongoGillian MulvaleDaria O’Reilly and Arthur Sweetman

    The work has two goals:
    1. To develop a framework that lays an analytic foundation to support implementation of cost amortization in prevention and early intervention; and
    2. To conduct four economic forecasting simulations that illustrate the analytic framework in action in the areas identified by CIHR in the call for proposals.

    Full story

  • Glasgow economist to present research on the development of strategic sophistication in children

    Research into how cognitive skills and age work together to determine the strategic sophistication of children in a variety of strategic interactions will be presented on March 21 at a CHEPA seminar entitled Cognitive Skills and the Development of Strategic Sophistication by Dr. Eduardo Fé of Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

    Prof Fé, whose research contributes to the understanding of the relationship between human capital and economic decision-making during childhood and old age, found that better theory-of-mind and cognitive ability predict strategic sophistication in competitive games. Furthermore, age and cognitive ability act in tandem as complements, while age and theory-of-mind operate independently. To read his research paper, click here.

    The seminar will take place on Wednesday March 21, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in CRL-B119. All are welcome to attend. If you are unable to attend in person you are welcome to participate remotely online, using WebEx. To join the seminar online, click here. The password is CHEPAseminar

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  • Register now for Personalizing Patient Care Under Uncertainty: Techniques to Inform Development of Clinical Guidelines and Treatment Choice

    A 2-Day Workshop by Professor Charles Manski

    April 11 (10am to 5pm, followed by an optional dinner) and April 12 (10am to 3pm), 2018 at McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton, Ontario

    To register: Click here (workshop: $190 non-students; $50 for students. Optional dinner: $50 per person). This workshop is geared to PhDs, post-doctoral fellows, researchers, clinicians, health economists, statisticians, and others interested in statistical methods in healthcare.

    This is a 2-day course focussed on cutting edge statistical approaches that can be used to enhance the development of clinical guidelines and in informing treatment choice.

    Dr. Charles Manski

    Prof. Charles Manski pioneered advances in partial identification across many policy applications. He is a superb speaker who can make technical information accessible to broad audiences. His recent work addresses opportunities to build further robustness and rigour into clinical decision-making in relation to patient care under uncertainty with applications to clinical guideline development, prognosis and treatment.

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  • Forum, CHEPA awarded $2 million in HSRF research funding

    The McMaster Health Forum and CHEPA are proud to announce that they will continue co-hosting a program – Harnessing Evidence and Values for Health-System Excellence – that has been newly awarded more than $2 million in funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) through their Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Program Awards.

    The program brings together the expertise of the McMaster Health Forum and CHEPA and will be co-led by John Lavis, the Forum’s director (and a member of CHEPA), and Julia Abelson from CHEPA (and an adjunct faculty member of the Forum).

    Full story


To read the Winter 2018 edition of the CHEPA newsletter, click here.

CHEPA Seminar Series

CHEPA sponsors a regular series of seminars during the academic year presented by invited speakers. For a schedule of future CHEPA seminars, click here.

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