The Leonard D. Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California seeks funding to help support the fifth biennial conference of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon). ASHEcon is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in health economics research in the United States. Health economics has emerged as a distinct and successful field in economics, bringing theoretical insights to many issues of practical and policy significance and a large community of researchers are tackling policy-relevant issues in health behavior in health care delivery. This includes scholars in economics departments, schools of public health, public policy departments, and business schools, as well as researchers outside academia in government, industry and nonprofit organizations. Beginning with its first conference at the University of Wisconsin in 2006, ASHEcon's biennial conference has quickly become established as the premier health economics conference in the U.S., providing a forum for presenting emerging ideas, empirical results and methodological advances in health economics research, and for facilitating the development of the next generation of health economics scholars. The fifth biennial ASHEcon conference will be held June 22-25, 2014, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA with pre-conference activities at the same location on June 21. The conference will be hosted by the staff of the Schaeffer Center with support from the USC Schools of Pharmacy and Public Policy. As the institution hosting this conference, the University of Southern California is requesting partial support for the conference from AHRQ. The remainder of the conference costs will be funded from other sources, including conference registration fees, sponsorships, and other grants.
The general purpose of the fourth ASHEcon biennial conference is to provide an opportunity for a large community of health economists form academia, government and industry to present research, exchange ideas, gain new skills and learn about current policy issues in the field. Anticipated outcomes include improved research through the exchange of new research findings, dissemination of cutting-edge methods and ideas, better health policies and the development of the next generation of health economics researchers. The conference provides significant time for networking and fostering collaboration among health economists. Evaluations of past ASHEcon conferences indicate high marks on all of these dimensions. The general purpose of the fourth ASHEcon biennial conference is to provide an opportunity for a large community of health economists to gather and present research, exchange ideas, gain new skills, and learn about current policy issues in the field. The specific aims are: 1) To offer members of the health economics community in academics, government, and industry an opportunity to present and discuss high quality papers representing new rigorous innovative research in important areas of health economics in an intensive large conference setting;2) To foster the practical relevance of empirical health economics by promoting discussion of important current policy issues;3) To provide workshops to enhance the empirical skills and capabilities of health economists;4) To facilitate the career development of the next generation of health economic scholars through career development activities and awards. Anticipated outcomes include improved research through the exchange of new research findings, dissemination of cutting-edge methods and ideas, better health policies, and the development of the next generation of health economics researchers. The conference provides significant time for networking and fostering collaboration among health economists. Evaluations of past ASHEcon conferences indicate high marks on all of these dimensions. Organized around the general theme of Health &Healthcare in America: From Economics to Policy, the aims of the conference are consistent with the mission of AHRQ stated in PA-13-017 for large conference grants to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans and AHRQ's goal of supporting conferences contributing to the dissemination of research findings, to research design and methodology, and to research training, infrastructure and career development. The focus on students and junior faculty is a common theme of ASHEcon. ASHEcon is devoted to developing an active community of well-trained scholars addressing important issues in health care. Students and junior faculty will be attracted to the conference by the opportunities to 1) present their research and get feedback from experts, 2) present paper and posters, and 3) engage with senior faculty. Our plenary speakers are top researchers that will serve to inform and attract fellow health economists. The pre-conference sessions will provide an additional opportunity to learn from leading researchers. Individuals can come one day prior to the conference to attend these training sessions for a relatively small fee. These sessions are designed to get young researchers up to speed quickly on particular research areas. All of these activities are directed towards the common goal of promoting excellence in planning, conducting, dissemination, and translation of health economics research.