Cost effectiveness

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Translational Science Benefits

Icon for Clinical & medical benefits


Icon for Community & public health benefits


Icon for Economic benefits


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Economic benefits (Financial savings & benefits)


Improvement in the benefits of a program relative to its cost. Cost-effectiveness analysis takes into account differences in medical costs, productivity, health outcomes with and without the intervention in place. Cost-effectiveness can be assessed for drugs, devices, programs, or other services.


Cost effectiveness is used as an analytic tool to assess which medical care should be provided by comparing the cost and effectiveness of different interventions. It helps to inform healthcare decision-making as to allocation of funding and finding ways to deliver healthcare more efficiently.


Advice from authors on searching for information:

Cost savings and cost effectiveness are distinct concepts that are often confused or used interchangeably. Newly developed and established drugs, procedures, and other interventions that decrease costs is cost saving. However, if the benefits provided by the drugs, procedures, and other interventions are sufficient, the intervention is considered to be cost-effective even if costs are not reduced.  Refer to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Cost Savings and Cost-Effectiveness of Clinical Preventive Care policy brief for more information.

Groups such as government agencies (federal, state, and local), institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or expert panels, can conduct cost effectiveness analyses.  Cost effective analyses are also conducted by non-governmental agencies such as hospitals, schools, or specialty organizations. Consult the website of pertinent organizations for analyses related to a disease, disorder, or condition.

Resources & Data

Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:

Data Limitations

Challenges you may encounter while searching for information:

Cost effectiveness research by nature is focused on a specific topic such as cardiology or vaccines. Studies may not be available for all topics.


Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:

Case Studies

Supporting Maternal Mental Health in Early Childhood Settings

By Implementation Research Institute (IRI)

Implementing the Mothers and Babies program in Baltimore City

Optimizing Provider Training in Eating Disorders (OPTED)

By Implementation Research Institute (IRI)

Increasing accessibility of eating disorder services for diverse youth