The Economics of Healthcare Rationing

Oxford Handbook of U.S. Healthcare Law, Forthcoming

40 Pages Posted: 16 May 2015

Date Written: May 7, 2015


This article examines the economics of healthcare rationing. We begin with an overview of the various dimensions across which healthcare rationing operates, or at least has the potential to operate, in the first place. We then describe the types of economic analyses used in healthcare rationing decision-making, with particular reference to cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. We also discuss healthcare rationing in practice, such as how economic analyses inform decisions regarding which services to cover, and conclude by discussing various practical and conceptual challenges that may arise with economic analyses and that span both economics and ethics.

Keywords: economics, healthcare rationing, healthcare, economic analyses, decision-making, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, ethics

JEL Classification: K32, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Frakes, Michael and Frank, Matthew and Rozema, Kyle, The Economics of Healthcare Rationing (May 7, 2015). Oxford Handbook of U.S. Healthcare Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Michael Frakes (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Matthew Frank

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kyle Rozema

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States


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