Estimates of the Health Care Costs of Chronic Disease

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Speaker: Walter P. Wodchis

Date/Time: February 20, 10 AM – 12 PM

Link to Presentation Slides: Walter Wodchis Presentation (.pdf file)


Following a century of successful public health and health care innovations the public health and health care challenge for the 21st century is the management of chronic health conditions. It is also increasingly known that the challenge is really in the management of multiple chronic conditions. Although the proportion of the population who are living with one chronic condition has been relatively stable over the past decade, the number of people who are experiencing multiple chronic conditions has increased by over 40%. Understanding the health care costs of the most common chronic conditions and the incremental health care costs associated with multimorbdity is an important decision-making tool for policy makers and providers who must make choices about how to allocate health care resources to better manage chronic disease. This talk will present different regression-based and matching approaches to incremental cost estimation and provide an example of how the resultant estimates can be used to judge the value of health care quality initiatives.


Dr. Wodchis’ main research interests are health economics and financing, and health care policy evaluation. He is the Principal Investigator for the Health System Performance Research Network. In this program, he leads a team focused on research projects that identify complex populations with chronic conditions who transition through multiple health care sectors and develop health system performance measurement for these populations. Dr. Wodchis is also co-Principal Investigator for a CIHR team grant focused on understanding spread of community based integrated care innovations to improve care for complex patient populations. Past significant publications include quality of life measurement for older populations, incentives and government payment for physicians and long-term care including pay for performance, and the relationship between quality and cost. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics (Waterloo), Master’s in both Gerontology (Waterloo) and Economics (Michigan), and doctorate in Health Services Organization and Policy (Health Economics) at the University of Michigan.