Determining the Cost of Select Core Services Across Colorado Public Health Agencies

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

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The Colorado Public Health Practice-Based Research Network, led by the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, is working both to estimate the cost of delivering selected core public health services in Colorado and to identify services and delivery characteristics with economies of scale and scope. Using a micro-costing approach to estimate the variable and fixed costs associated with the selected core services, this study is examining the degree to which local public health agency (LPHA) structural differences modify costs. Further, investigators are looking at cost variation across delivery systems and examining the generalizability of the resulting Colorado model outside of the state. These goals are being accomplished through a four-stage process: 1) selecting specific public health services for evaluation; 2) conducting key informant interviews and a focus group to identify variable and fixed costs; 3) conducting a survey using time logs to estimate variable costs; and 4) performing analyses of cost data to determine the effect of delivery system characteristics on the cost of delivering services. This project is engaging partners using the Colorado PBRN's communications plan template, which includes cyclical phases of Building Awareness, Recruitment, and Dissemination to ensure targeted communication throughout the project. Study results will help inform decisions by local public health agencies, the state health department, and system level partners, while also making the case for core public health services funding.


Research Areas

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Lisa VanRaemdonck, M.P.H., M.S.W.

Adam Atherly, Ph.D.