Health & Preferences

Perspectives from economics and philosophy on the policy-relevance of health preferences on reimbursement decision-making
Hospital room with doctor and nurse near patient
Thursday 29 Feb 2024, 09:00 - 18:00
Spoken Language
Van der Goot Building
Campus Woudestein
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Hospital room with doctor and nurse near patient

Preferences play a central role in healthcare reimbursement decisions, for example informing cost-effectiveness analysis, priority setting, and medical product development. But are preferences as currently elicited to inform these decisions fit-for-purpose, or ‘policy-relevant’?

Established literatures in philosophy and behavioural economics challenge this assumption. Relevant preferences would, for example, be well-informed, based on correct reasoning, and due to self-regarding or public-regarding reasons (but not necessarily both). All of these conditions have been contested empirically.

This workshop has therefore invited health economists, behavioural economists, and philosophers to make headway on the question: How can we determine whether stated health preferences are policy-relevant, and what should we do if we have good reason to believe they are not?

In this workshop, which includes a keynote by Daniel Hausman (Rutgers University), the question of when health policy should be based on health preferences and which challenges exists in the measurement and interpretation of those preference will be explored in three sessions (see below for details). The workshop aims to develop agenda for future interdisciplinary research on policy-relevant preferences in healthcare reimbursement.


08:45Welcome with coffee
09:00Introduction to workshop 

Session 1: How can, should, or do preferences play a role in healthcare reimbursement and what makes them policy-relevant


  • Jorien Veldwijk (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management)
    - Patients’ preferences: what are they, how do we measure them and when can they be informative in the medical product life-cycle?
  • Donna Rowen (Sheffield Centre for Health and Related Research)
    - The (problems with) the status quo for valuing health states for adults and children
  • Vivian Reckers Droog (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management)
    - The (ir)relevance of public preferences in resource allocation decisions in healthcare
  • Alex Voorhoeve & Veronika Luptakova (London School of Economics)
    - Balancing Death against Lesser Burdens: Philosophy, Psychology and Policy
11:15Coffee break
11:30Keynote Daniel Hausman - Why elicit preferences to assign values to health states?

Session 2: Why current approaches of including preference in healthcare reimbursement may not capture policy-relevant preferences

  • Bram Roudijk (EuroQol Research Foundation)

    - Data quality assessment in health preference measurement: EuroQol’s approach to data quality control

  • Måns Abrahamson (Erasmus School of Philosophy)
    - Health economists are laundering preferences—and that’s OK
  • Lukas Beck (London School of Economics)
    - Identifying mistaken preferences
15:00Coffee break

Session 3: How to improve the policy-relevance of health preferences


  • Stefan Lipman (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management)
    - Correcting bias in health preferences: behavioural economics to the rescue?
  • Ruben Sakowsky (University of Göttingen)
    - Deliberative preference elicitation approaches
  • Jan van Busschbach (Erasmus Medical Center & Adviescommissie Pakket)
    - The quality of the quality of life preference in QALYs is not a big issue in reimbursement policy
16:45Closing remarks

If you have any questions, please contact

Note: Early career researchers may qualify to receive a travel stipend to attend this event (depending on the number of registrations).

More information

This workshop is made possible thanks to a KNAW Early Career Partnership awarded to Stefan Lipman, and is jointly organised by Stefan Lipman (ESHPM) and Måns Abrahamson (ESPhil).

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