Cost and cost-effectiveness of primary care for cardiovascular disease

Date & time

12.30–1.30pm 12 March 2015


Bob Douglas Lecture Theatre, Building 62 NCEPH (entrance on Eggleston Road)


Dr Anthony Carpenter, BCom(Hons) BSc(Med) MBBS(Hons) SM PhD Candidate, Research School of Population Health


 Matthew Kelly

Anthony’s background is in finance, clinical medicine, and population health. He was previously a Director of Harvard Medical International, research analyst for the Harvard program in Health Care Finance, medical adviser in the Commonwealth Department of Health, and consultant for KPMG Treasury & Financial Risk Management. He works in primary health care and emergency medicine. He is a member of the Policy Advisory Committee of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and a Visiting Fellow at APHCRI at ANU. His research interests include health systems organization, regulation, financing and payments.


Approximately 80% of the burden of disease in Australia is due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW), cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the most costly disease group in Australia today, accounting for 12% of total health expenditure. The largest increase in CVD healthcare expenditure in the decade since 2000 has been for CVD hospital admission, which increased by 55%.

Previous economic modelling in Australia identified large and immediate cost-savings that could be achieved through treatment of absolute CVD risk, and the utilisation of a ‘polypill’ of blood-pressure and cholesterol lowering medications. These reforms have not yet been fully realised in the Australian health system. Recent health finance debate may not have considered gains in health system technical efficiency which these and similar approaches could realise.

Using data from the 45 & Up study, this applied economics thesis will attempt to examine the cost of opportunities not fully realised in primary health care for CVD prevention and care. Thesis outputs may inform health policy consideration to improve the health system technical efficiency for the prevention and treatment of CVD, and other NCDs.

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