VA/PTSD Economic theory predicts rational individuals maximize utility and make health care decisions on the margin, by comparing expected benefits with expected costs. Let us consider the case of an OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) or OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. Since 2001, approximately 1.2 million veterans have served in OIF and OEF. Research at the Veterans Administration (VA) shows about 20% of those veterans will pursue care for PTSD or depression. Assume the VA health administration provides care – free of service fees – to all veterans with PTSD or depression (about 90% of VA health services are funded by the federal government). Treatments for PTSD and depression include medication and psychological counseling. In at about 5 sentences (one paragraph) per part (A, B, C, D), answer these questions after reading the VA handbook. Refer to our textbook for the economic theory. This is an economics assignment!
A. From the perspective of the patient, what would be the economically rational level of treatment to seek for PTSD or depression? Please describe the economically rational decision-making process in the pursuit of care.
B. What types of items would you include in the patients costs? What types of items would you include in the patients benefits?
C. From the perspective of the payer (in this case, assume the government is sole payer), what would be the economically rational level of a health care service? What types of items would you include in the payers costs? What types of items would you include in the payers benefits? D. How do you think COVID-19 has impacted Veterans? Their care? https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions/
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