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This study aimed to identify the indirect benefits of health care preparedness funding as perceived by current and former recipients of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Hospital Preparedness Program.
This was a qualitative inductive content analysis of telephone interviews conducted with regional stakeholders from several health care coalitions to identify their perceptions of the indirect benefits of preparedness funding.
Content analysis of interviewee responses resulted in 2 main categories of indirect benefits of federal health care preparedness funding: (1) dual-use technology and programs and (2) impact of relationships on day-to-day operations. Within the dual-use technology and programs category, 3 subcategories were identified: (1) information systems, (2) clinical technology, and (3) health care operations. Similarly, 3 subcategories relating to the indirect benefits in the impact of relationships on day-to-day operations category were identified: (1) cooperation, (2) information sharing, and (3) sense of community.
This study identified indirect benefits of federal investment in hospital and health care preparedness in day-to-day operations. Major categories of these benefits included dual-use technology and programs and impact of relationships on day-to-day operations. Coalition members placed a high value on these benefits, even though they were not direct outcomes of grant programs. Further research is needed to quantify the economic value of these indirect benefits to more accurately measure the total return on investment from federal grant funding. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:704–711)
To demonstrate the application of economics to health care preparedness by estimating the financial return on investment in a substate regional emergency response team and to develop a financial model aimed at sustaining community-level disaster readiness.
Economic evaluation methods were applied to the experience of a regional Pennsylvania response capability. A cost-benefit analysis was performed by using information on funding of the response team and 17 real-world events the team responded to between 2008 and 2013. By use of the results of the cost-benefit analysis as well as information on the response team’s catchment area, a risk-based insurance-like membership model was built.
The cost-benefit analysis showed a positive return after 6 years of investment in the regional emergency response team. Financial modeling allowed for the calculation of premiums for 2 types of providers within the emergency response team’s catchment area: hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The analysis indicated that preparedness activities have a positive return on their investment in this substate region. By applying economic principles, communities can estimate their return on investment to make better business decisions in an effort to increase the sustainability of emergency preparedness programs at the regional level. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:344–348)
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