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Value equation

The use of a value equation is intended to help the purchaser of health care service make an informed decision regarding the value of the services. While value may be calculated in a number of different ways, one method that is well suited to behavioral healthcare is to define value as the magnitude of improvement (as measured by an outcome questionnaire) divided by the cost of care.

Employers have a particular interest in estimating the value of services because the employee's improvement in symptoms and functioning that potentially results from mental heath and/or substance abuse treatment services have a direct impact on the employer's bottom line in the form of improved worker productivity.

The value of behavioral healthcare services can vary due to a number of factors, including the type of treatment and cost of the services. However, the value of the services also vary due to differences in the effectiveness of individual clinicians, since all treatment effects are to some degree mediated by clinician effects.

-- JebBrown - 09 Jan 2007
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