Health Economic Decision Tree Models of Diagnostics for Dummies: A Pictorial Primer

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Rautenberg, Tamlyn
Gerritsen, Annette
Downes, Martin
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2020
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Abstract

Health economics is a discipline of economics applied to health care. One method used in health economics is decision tree modelling, which extrapolates the cost and effectiveness of competing interventions over time. Such decision tree models are the basis of reimbursement decisions in countries using health technology assessment for decision making. In many instances, these competing interventions are diagnostic technologies. Despite a wealth of excellent resources describing the decision analysis of diagnostics, two critical errors persist: not including diagnostic test accuracy in the structure of decision trees and treating sequential diagnostics as independent. These errors have consequences for the accuracy of model results, and thereby impact on decision making. This paper sets out to overcome these errors using color to link fundamental epidemiological calculations to decision tree models in a visually and intuitively appealing pictorial format. The paper is a must-read for modelers developing decision trees in the area of diagnostics for the first time and decision makers reviewing diagnostic reimbursement models

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Diagnostics

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© 2020 The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Health services and systems

Public health

Clinical sciences

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Rautenberg, T, Health Economic Decision Tree Models of Diagnostics for Dummies: A Pictorial Primer, Diagnostics, 2020

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