Evaluation of Selected Aspects of the National Medicare Education Program: Final Design Report. 4.4.3 Primary Outcome Measures


The primary outcome for a CEA of the NMEP is an estimate of the cost per unit change in an outcome of interest (e.g., $5,000 per one-unit increase in the level of Medicare beneficiary knowledge for activity A, and $10,000 per one-unit increase in the level of knowledge for activity B). Given that the NMEP consists of five major activities, one could generate the estimated cost per unit change for each activity. The methods below discuss changes in an index of Medicare beneficiary knowledge, but other outcomes may be considered.

Another common measure in CEA is the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), the ratio of a change in costs (relative to another policy or to doing nothing) over the change in effectiveness (relative to the same policy or to doing nothing). The ICER measures the gains from switching from one policy regime to another. Sensitivity analyses in all CEA estimates could be generated to explore the impact of assumptions in costs or effectiveness data.

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