Costs and Cost-Drivers of Providing Foundational Public Health Services in Washington State and Relationships with Structural and Community Factors

Year: 2013
Funding: Delivery and Cost Studies (DACS)
Status: Completed

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To support the transformation toward a more efficient and effective public health system, Washington’s statewide Foundational Public Health Services Workgroup was tasked with developing a strategy to determine “predictable and appropriate levels of financing.” With leadership from the University of Washington, the Washington Public Health Practice-Based Research Network is using this opportunity to leverage the current activities of the state's practice leaders toward identifying and examining factors that promote and inhibit the provision of this foundational set of public health services and capabilities. This study's aims are three-fold: to estimate and validate the cost per unit of service for selected Foundational Public Health Services for Washington's local health jurisdictions; to determine how organizational and community factors influence the cost of public health system service delivery in the state; and to determine how variation in the cost of Washington's Foundational Public Health Services relates to equity of resource allocation. Among the approaches to determine costs, cost drivers, and other factors associated with programs and capabilities are: 1) cross-sectional resource-based cost estimation, 2) an activity log-based method, and 3) longitudinal modeling to examine factors that influence cost and production. Results will support public health leaders in developing a more efficient and equitable system of public health resource allocation.




Research Areas


Betty Bekemeier, Ph.D., M.P.H and Justin Marlowe, Ph.D., M.P.A., M.A., University of Washington

Jennifer Tebaldi, M.B.A., Washington State Department of Health