IHE News

IHE Newsletter Issue 1

Welcome to the Institute of Health Economics’ newsletter!

THANK YOU to all of you for your interest, for attending our events, and for your support!

IHE to lead the economic evaluation of two major provincial initiatives

The Economic Evaluation of the Nurse Practitioner Demonstration Project

Last week, Alberta Health announced that four health care centres (three in Calgary and one in Edmonton) will receive an additional $10 million dollars to hire nurse practitioners, to further meet the healthcare needs of Albertans. The IHE is pleased to announce that it will be heading an expert advisory group to guide and evaluate the four projects. The government will use the results for future policies related to primary health care and workforce planning.

News release from Alberta Health can be viewed here:

The Economic Evaluation of a Blended Capitation Payment Model

Last summer, the Alberta government reached a tentative agreement with the Alberta Medical Association to test a new Blended Capitation physician payment model, that may prove more cost-effective than other models currently under use (such as fee-for-service and/or alternative payment plans). The IHE is currently conducting an economic evaluation of this new physician payment model.

Economic evaluations are essential for evidence-based policy development. They are a comprehensive and responsible mechanism to ensure that dollars spent are used effectively and appropriately. The IHE is honoured and enthusiastic to lead the economic evaluation of these two initiatives.

IHE joins the Advisory Committee for the AMA Agreement Management Committee

The IHE has been asked to join an advisory committee to help support the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Agreement Management Committee (MC) to oversee the implementation of the 2016 amendments to the AMA Agreement. MC members include the Deputy Minister of Alberta Health, CEO of AMA, and the President and CEO of Alberta Health Services. Other members of the Advisory Committee include the Health Quality Council of Alberta, Alberta Innovates, the Deans of Medicine at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

The IHE is a natural fit for this role, and is delighted to have been asked to contribute to public policy development and implementation in this way.

For more information, please see the following link: https://www.albertadoctors.org/services/physicians/our-agreements

A Case for a Federal Mental Health Transition Fund

The Liberal government committed to making mental health services more accessible. Housing funding was increased in the last budget, but now commitment to comprehensive home care for the severely mentally ill and access to primary care treatments for common mental disorders are needed. IHE’s Drs. Lesage and Jonsson make a strong case for a Federal Mental Health Transition Fund in an open access published editorial in the Jan 2017 edition of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Read the full article here:  The Case for a Federal Mental Health Transition Fund

Welcome Dr. Hameed Khan!

The Institute of Health Economics and Alberta Innovates (AI) have a long history of working together on health sector innovation. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Hameed Khan, Lead of Health and Health Care Initiatives with Alberta Innovates, will be dedicating a significant portion of his time to supporting the IHE as a Senior Innovation Associate. Under IHE’s new industry engagement program, Dr. Khan will be assisting in many initiatives, including supporting tech companies to strengthen business cases for new innovations through economic analysis, and in navigating the Alberta regulatory environment.

In addition to his work with Alberta Innovates, Dr. Hameed Khan founded an organization called GOOD (Genomics of Orphaned Diseases) Canada, and was included in the top 40 under 40 by Avenue Edmonton Magazine (Avenue Magazine - Dr. Hameed Khan).

Welcome Dr. Khan, and thank you Alberta Innovates for your continued partnership.

Veggies and fruit are not just garnish, Alberta!

In Alberta, there is only one food group - steak. Unfortunately, according to a new study co-written by some of our esteemed academic faculty staff (published by Cambridge.org and chosen as Paper of the Month for December on the Nutrition Society blog) it could be costing society CAN$ 3.3 billion per year in direct health care costs and productivity losses.

According to Ekwaru, Ohinmaa, Loehr, and Setayeshgar, authors of The economic burden of inadequate consumption of vegetables and fruit in Canada, “about 80% of women and 89% of men consume inadequate amounts of vegetables and fruit ... and an increase of one serving of vegetables and fruit per day would avoid approximately $CAN 9.2 billion.”

So Alberta, maybe it’s time to make veggies and fruit part of your main dish, opposed to just your garnish!

Recent IHE Events!

The IHE recently hosted, and co-hosted, several sold-out events - e-Health Policy Symposium, Biosimilars in Alberta, and the Value in Health Forum.

e-Health Policy Symposium – Towards “Person-Centred” Integrated Health in Alberta

The Institute of Health Economics and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, in collaboration with Alberta Health, co-hosted a public policy symposium that addressed the importance of integrated health information as a necessary foundation for improved patient and system outcomes. The focus was to discuss the benefits and challenges of shared health information and to better understand the role that health care providers play in achieving more person-centred and integrated care. Keynote speakers shared their experiences, opportunities and challenges around integrated health information.

Presentations were recorded and available for viewing at the following webpage: http://www.ihe.ca/research-programs/knowledge-transfer-dissemination/conferences/ehps/ehps-pres

IHE Value in Health Invitational Forum: Standards, Quality, and Economics

The IHE Value in Health Forum held on January 19th, 2017, provided an overview from provincial, national, and international leaders around key issues to consider and address from a system perspective when developing an approach to extract value from a complex health system. This event was hosted in partnership with Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Innovates, Health Quality Council of Alberta, and the Canadian Institute of Health Services and Policy Research and featured internationally renowned speakers such as Dr. Reinhard Busse, Mr. Tim Gardner, Dr. Robert Nesse, Dr. Meredith Rosenthal, and Dr. Murray Ross.

The event was was streamed live, and presentations were recorded - please visit the following webpage:

IHE Biosimilars Forum

The IHE Biosimilars Forum was held on October 6th, 2016 in Edmonton to discuss an Alberta approach to biosimilar reimbursement. The purpose of this event was to gather key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as clinicians, academics, and patient and provider associations, in order to inform Alberta biosimilar reimbursement policy by sharing international experiences in this area, and the perspectives of key individuals and organizations.

Did you miss it? No problem. Check out our summary report:  Towards an Alberta approach for biosimilar reimbursement.

The event sold out, was a huge success, and became a spring board for something bigger ...

IHE Life Sciences Open Innovation Platform™

IHE Life Sciences Open Innovation Platform

The IHE is gathering input for an IHE Forum on biosimilar policy that will be held at the CADTH 2017 meeting in April. To obtain stakeholder perspectives in this important policy area, the IHE is launching an online “ideasourcing” platform, called the IHE Life Sciences Open Innovation Platform™ to encourage a broad pan-Canadian community to comment on key issues and topics related to biosimilar policy.

Participation is easy. Once you register, you can add your ideas on biosimilar policy in key areas highlighted on the platform, comment and contribute to the ideas of others, and vote for the ones that have the most promise. Your level of participation is up to you, and you don't have to be an expert to contribute.

Preliminary campaigns include:

  • Biosimilar Policy Stakeholder Engagement
  • Biosimilar Evidence Generation
  • Biosimilar Education & Experience
  • Enabling Biologics Infrastructure
  • Active & Sustained Biologics Competition

Ideas from the platform with the most support will be presented to policy leaders at an IHE Biosimilars meeting, at the 2017 CADTH Symposium. The deadline to contribute for this particular initiative is April 1st, however, you will want to contribute early and check back often, so that your ideas and those of others can be further developed, supported, and refined by the community.

The platform and the above mentioned campaign areas were developed in response to the 2016 IHE Biosimilars Forum and IHE Biosimilars Forum Summary Report. For more information on the IHE Biosimilars Forum, please visit the following webpage: IHE Biosimilars Forum.

Network of Alberta Health Economists – Join us!

Are you a Health Economist, a Policy Leader, or Health Economics Student hoping to learn more about health economics? Now you can! The IHE, in partnership with Alberta Health and the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, has launched the Network of Alberta Health Economists (NOAHE). NOAHE’s objective is to bring together the leading minds in health economics research and policy. It also seeks to increase the access, utilization, and capacity of health economics research in the province as well as encourage collaboration between health economics researchers and policymakers.

Learn more at www.NOAHE.ca!

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