Net Health Benefit (NHB)

Net Health Benefit (NHB) is a summary statistic used to evaluate the overall impact of introducing a new healthcare intervention on population health. NHB takes into account the concept of ‘lost health’ as an opportunity cost, representing the health benefits foregone elsewhere due to reallocating funding to the new intervention.

NHB is typically measured using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and is calculated with the following formula:

NHB = Incremental Gain in QALYs – (Incremental Cost \ Opportunity Cost Threshold)

Key aspects of NHB include:

– Incremental Gain in QALYs: The additional QALYs provided by the new intervention compared to the existing standard of care.

– Incremental Cost: The additional cost associated with the new intervention.

– Opportunity Cost Threshold: The value (often a monetary threshold) representing the health benefits that could be achieved with alternative uses of the resources.

A positive NHB indicates that the introduction of the new intervention would result in a net increase in overall population health, suggesting that the health benefits of the new treatment outweigh the health losses due to reallocated funding. Conversely, a negative NHB suggests that the health benefits of the new intervention do not compensate for the health losses incurred by diverting resources from other healthcare services.

NHB is a valuable tool in health economics for assessing the value and prioritization of new healthcare interventions, guiding policymakers and healthcare providers in making informed decisions about resource allocation to maximize population health benefits.