The recently started European research project PECUNIA (“ProgrammE in Costing, resource use measurement and outcome valuation for Use in multi-sectoral National and International health economic evaluAtions“) aims to establish standardised costing and outcome assessment measures for optimised national healthcare provision in the European Union. Coordinated by Professor Judit Simon at the Medical University of Vienna, the three-year-project brings together ten partners from six countries with complementary methodological expertise.
Rapidly ageing societies, growing populations and new health technologies have dramatically increased EU healthcare costs: Between 1972 and 2010, public health expenditure has risen from 4.5% to 8% of national income across the EU. Especially long-term and multi-morbidities as well as mental health diseases pose a major financial burden to European healthcare systems. The European research project PECUNIA aims to tackle this challenge by developing new standardised, harmonised and validated methods for the assessment of costs and outcomes of healthcare interventions within and across European countries. The methods and tools to be developed within PECUNIA will be used to enhance efficient and evidence-based collaborative care models and inter-sectoral funding arrangements to improve chronic and mental health care in all EU health systems.
The research endeavour is based on a unique multi-national, multi-sectoral and multi-person approach. “At least a quarter of the total direct cost impact of healthcare interventions affects other economic sectors, so we will also consider data from sectors such as social care, education, criminal justice, employment and productivity,” said Project Coordinator Judit Simon from the Department of Health Economics, Center for Public Health of the Medical University of Vienna. “Our goals are ambitious: We are joining forces from different academic fields to develop methods for the comprehensive overview of the cost and outcome impacts of healthcare interventions for European societies and provide direct comparable solutions.”
PECUNIA is funded with a total budget of €2.99 million over the next three years by the European Commission’s current Research Framework Programme Horizon 2020. The consortium consists of ten partners with multi-disciplinary academic backgrounds in medicine, economics, public health, health economics, psychology and sociology.
In the frame of this ambitious project, Associate Professor Leona Hakkaart-van Roijen and her research team, PhD student Kimberley Hubens, Msc. and a soon to be appointed post-doc at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will focus on the development of 1) a standardised instrument for the measurement and valuation of productivity costs and 2) a value set for the valuation of quality of life for the EQ-5D within Europe. Dr Leona Hakkaart-van Roijen is the author of the update of the Dutch manual for costing in economic evaluations. Her research has focused on the methodology measuring an valuing productivity costs and outcomes.
The Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) based at Erasmus University Rotterdam is leading in the fields of policy and organisational sciences with a focus on health care, health economics, medical technology assessment, social medical sciences, health law and health insurance. ESHPM contributed to important methodological innovations for improved health economic evaluations, which resulted in influential methodology developments ESHPM have added to important methodological developments among others the friction costs method, instruments for measuring and valuing productivity costs and recently (Dutch) values of EQ-5D-5L.
PECUNIA officially kicked off its activities with a first project meeting held in Vienna from 14-16 January 2018.