Health Economics in Integrated Care: IFIC Special Interest Group

The Health Economics in Integrated Care Special Interest Group (HEIC-SIG) was established as a response to the increasing interest of policy makers, clinicians, and researchers on the value for money of integrated care and appropriate incentives to stimulate integration of care. Health economists face numerous challenges in evaluating adequately integrated care because of its complex nature. Hence, there is an urgent need to adapt existing economic evaluation methods and foster emerging ideas of strengthening the evaluation of complex interventions. In addition, new or adapted financial incentive structures need to be designed because traditional financing and payment schemes fail to stimulate collaboration and care integration. The HEIC-SIG will provide the platform to develop appropriate methods for the economic evaluation of integrated care and explore financial incentives that support integrated care by connecting researchers, facilitating scientific discussion and stimulating research in this field.

The HEIC-SIG has brought out a working paper entitled ‘Economic evaluation of integrated care: a research agenda’, CLICK HERE to check it out.
The HEIC-SIG website can be found HERE.

The group is also organising a session at the International Conference on Integrated Care in Barcelona:

When: Wednesday May 25th 7:30 – 8:30AM
Session: Breakfast Workshop
Title: Kicking off the Special Interest Group Health Economics in Integrated Care – key questions and actions to move research forward

More about HEIC-SIG…

Prospective members
The target audience consists of researchers, health and social care professionals, and decision-makers engaged in or interested in health economics in integrated care. It is of special interest to the SIG that not only health economists, but also social scientists, epidemiologists, public health specialists and researchers from other disciplines join the group, as it is obvious that integrated care evaluation needs to incorporate methods and instruments from outside health economics in order to be relevant for integrated care. IFIC members with a relevant background and junior researchers in particular are welcome. It is expected that members contribute actively with knowledge to the discussion, share tasks, and are willing to dedicate some time to support the SIG’s activities.

Aims and objectives
The aim of the HEIC-SIG is to provide suitable methods for the economic evaluation of integrated care and explore the nature and impact of financial incentives that support care integration and collaboration. In order to reach this aim, the HEIC-SIG will pursue the following objectives:

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of existing health economic methods and investigate their adaptability for evaluating integrated care using as a starting point a HEIC-SIG Working Paper;
  • discuss current evidence and future developments in financing and paying integrated care around the globe;
  • connect researchers interested in health economics and integrated care to exchange experience, share research outputs, and collaborate on research projects, grant proposals, and other activities;
  • set the agenda for future research in collaboration with decision-makers and clinicians.


Activities of the SIG/Outputs
The SIG will provide a forum to discuss the current state-of-the-art in health economics, connect interested researchers, managers and policy makers to pursue research and implementation projects and develop new methodologies and tools. A first step to inaugurate the SIG will be a discussion paper, based on a review of the existing methodologies and a scoping of the evidence. This discussion paper will also define further research questions, and will facilitate the definition of research projects to be pursued by the SIG members.

SIG structure
SIG lead: 
Dr Apostolos Tsiachristas, University of Oxford
SIG core team:
Prof dr Silvia Evers and Dr. Aggie Paulus, University of Maastricht
Prof dr Maureen Rutten-van Molken, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Dr Viktoria Stein, International Foundation for Integrated Care




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