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Health Economics in Radiology Departments

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Author(s): Shahram Tofighi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Radiology
ISSN 1735-1065

Volume: 7;
Issue: S1;
Start page: 64;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: keyword

ABSTRACT
Economics and management are disciplines which are theoretically interdependent and highly intercalated in practice. The manager develops main policies, values, goals and guidelines and at the same time suggests different ways achieving the objectives. The economist suggests the most efficient and effective way. As a matter of fact, there is no institution, for- or non-for-profit, in the world having no concern on economic and financial issues. While all institutions consider cost containment and revenue increase approaches, employing rational and mathematical techniques would be inevitable; systematic and approved tools and logics, undoubtedly would lead better results. The economics, having structured and logical framework, can handle these issues properly. In the economics, providers' and consumers' behaviors are analyzed, seeking the optimum points for demand and supply, and price. The health sector's leaders and policy makers are supposed to develop a situation appropriate for resource-directed and needs-driven behaviors, using legal, financial and other control knobs, the behaviors that eventually end distributive and utility equity in health services. "nAchieving equity in distribution of facilities concomitant with equity in availability and equity in utility are the main concerns of the people and the leaders of the societies. In addition, affordability of the health costs for the majority of the community, and financing for supposed services have led the policy makers to search for cost containment approaches, and some kind of rationing of the services. "nHealth economist deals with applying the two level economics in radiology departments. Micro-economics at the level of institutions, which discusses regulating processes and decisions in order to minimize the expenditures and maximize the revenues via a variety of initiatives, such as customer satisfaction and motivated staff, improving the processes, and reducing the wastes. In macro-economics level, at the level of nation, the issues such as clinical guidelines, benefit packages, health technology assessments, equity in distribution of facilities, equitable accessibility as needed (no less and no more), affordability of health expenditures for individuals, insurance com-panies, and government are being discussed."nSometimes micro- and macro-economic issues are in confliction, though their interests at institutional level, i.e. X-ray departments, sonography offices, CT-scanning and MRI centers, are opposed to clinical guidelines and rationing planned and enacted by the governments at national level. Are there any levers, e.g. tariffs and regulations, available for the managers of societies, ensuring customers' and providers' behaviors modification, seeking efficiency, effectiveness, and equity?

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