Founded as Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna in 1365 and independent since 2004, the Medical University of Vienna (MUW) is one of the most traditional medical training and research facilities in Europe (8.000 students). It comprises 26 university hospitals, 3 clinical institutes, 12 theoretical medicine centres and numerous highly specialised laboratories. MUW is closely connected with the Vienna General Hospital (AKH), where about 1500 medical doctors treat more than 110.000 inpatients and 550.000 outpatients each year. The Department of Health Economics (DHE) was founded in 2013 as the first dedicated health economics department in Austria and is a dynamically growing international research unit. It is part of the Center for Public Health with over 70 employees and aims to support efficiency and equity concerning health and health care through relevant interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and with other national and international research and decision-making institutions. Major research areas include the synthesis of evidence and appraisal of the socioeconomic burden of diseases, the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of preventative, diagnostic and treatment interventions both alongside clinical studies and using modelling techniques.
Judit Simon is coordinator of the project. In addition to the integration and scientific management of the project as WP7 lead, she oversees the collation of comprehensive information on relevant outcome measurement instruments as WP5 lead and co-leads WP1 focusing on the valuation of health and social care services. Susanne Mayer leads the development of health and social care services unit costs (WP1) and the harmonisation of the multi-sectoral unit cost assessment methods (HA4). The rest of the MUW team supports the relevant tasks within WP1 (Claudia Fischer), WP5 (Agata Laszewska), and WP7 (Natasa Peric).
Prof. Judit Simon is a health economist (DPhil, MSc, BSc) and public health expert (MD, FFPH). She is Professor of Health Economics and Head of Department at the MUW, Head of Health Economics at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Applied Diagnostics, and Visiting Professor of Cognitive Health Economics and Research Associate at the University of Oxford. She has been PI in several European projects (PECUNIA, PReDict, BRIDGE Health, MHEEN II) and numerous mental health economic studies (e.g. ECNP, POMET, OXTEXT, CEQUEL, ACTIONS, OCTET). Her main research interests and expertise lie in applied economic evaluations and relevant methods development including broader well-being measurement in mental health studies (OxCAP-MH), multi-national cost and cost-effectiveness analyses, the development of cost-effective clinical guidelines (UK NICE guidelines for schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders), broader health services and systems research, and is the initiator of the Austrian Unit Cost Programme.
The PECUNIA project is the collaborative effort of 10 partners from 6 European countries to develop costing and outcome measurement methods and tools for health economic evaluations that are harmonized across each other, the different countries, the different economic sectors and the different disease areas. As coordinator, I find this interconnectivity of most tasks and deliverables and the interdependence of partners on each other’s work both the most challenging and the most exciting parts of the project. We are a highly motivated and experienced consortium working closely with our scientific advisory board and other stakeholders in order to develop some new gold standard tools which can contribute to improved, comparable, evidence-informed mental health care decisions in the future.
Dr Susanne Mayer holds a PhD in Health Economics and a Master’s degrees in Socio-Economics and Economics from Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Economics at the MUW. She has methodological expertise and project experience in qualitative and quantitative research, trial-based economic evaluations (e.g. OCTET, CEQUEL, PReDicT), systematic literature reviews, resource-use measurement instruments in the education and criminal justice sector and resource use valuation (costing).
Dr Claudia Fischer is a health scientist and is specialised in health services research and quality of care research. Dr Fischer holds a PhD and a Master's degree in Public Health from the Erasmus Medical University, Rotterdam. Further she holds a Master`s degree in Health Science from the Free University, Amsterdam and the University of Applied Sciences Carinthia in health care management. Her main research interest lies in health system performance measurement and the development and evaluation of the validity and reliability of quality indicators for hospital care as well as on quality indicators to measure integrated care concepts. She conducted qualitative and quantitative research in national and international projects (e.g. HSR Europe).
Nataša Perić holds a PhD in Public Health from the Medical University of Vienna and a Master’s degree in International Business Administration from the University of Vienna. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Health Economics at the MUW. She has a comprehensive background in health system performance assessment with focus on health system efficiency, qualitative research and European project experience (e.g. BRIDGE Health).
Agata Laszewska holds a PhD in Public Health from the Medical University of Vienna and a Master's degree in Public Health from the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Health Economics at the MUW. In her doctoral thesis she explored cost and quality of life impacts of mental disorders in Austria with an aim to provide supporting information for future resource allocation decisions and evaluation of mental health services. Her current research interest lies in outcome assessment in economic evaluations and health services research.
Dr Michael Berger holds a PhD in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) and a master’s (MSc equivalent) and bachelor’s degree (BSc equivalent) in Economics from the University of Vienna. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Health Economics at the MUW with a comprehensive background in applied econometrics and quantitative methods. His research interests include health policy analysis, health economic evaluation and efficiency issues in healthcare systems. He has contributed to various national and international projects (e.g. CEPHOS-LINK).