Promises and Pitfalls of Health Technology Assessment

  • Yolande Lievens
  • Peter Dunscombe
  • Andre Konski
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Over the last decades, a continuous rise in health care expenditure has been observed in all Western countries, partly, at least, due to the rapid diffusion of novel treatments and technologies. This growth in health care costs is not sustainable in the long run and hence strategies are being developed to set priorities about which interventions to fund and implement. Although radiotherapy is commonly accepted to be a very cost-effective treatment strategy, it is not immune from this general tendency toward cost-consciousness and cost-containment. This chapter will guide the interested radiation oncology professional through some theoretical aspects of health technology assessment, economic evaluation and cost accounting. In order to illustrate the concepts, recent examples from the economics literature on radiotherapy treatments are discussed. Additionally, this chapter will review some diverging results and conclusions from economic analyses of similar interventions and hence highlight potential pitfalls in the interpretation of health economic data. The chapter concludes by discussing which strategies could be pursued to support the economic future of our specialty.


Economic Evaluation Health Technology Assessment Life Year Gain Activity Base Costing Economic Evaluation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolande Lievens
    • 1
  • Peter Dunscombe
    • 2
  • Andre Konski
    • 3
  1. 1.Radiation Oncology DepartmentUniversitaire Ziekenhuizen LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of OncologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyWayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer CenterDetroitUSA

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