• Presentation

Overview of Cost-of-Illness Approaches and Data Sources


Honeycutt, A. A. (2005, December). Overview of Cost-of-Illness Approaches and Data Sources. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.


Cost-of-illness (COI) studies are useful for quantifying the burden of disease(s), how the burden has changed over time, and policies that are needed to prepare for those changes. This paper will provide an overview of several commonly used approaches for estimating COI, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. For example, we will describe differences between prevalence-based and incidence-based approaches and between alternative methods for allocating costs to specific diseases or risk factors. Possible data sources for estimating COI, such as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey or Medicare or Medicaid claims data, will also be discussed. We will consider the feasibility of obtaining and using each data source, and we will discuss the importance of selecting approaches and data sources that policy makers believe can produce credible estimates.