A new paper out by James Marton, Jaesang Sung, and Peggy Honore estimates the health effects attributable to public health spending by exploiting a unique public health financing mechanism used in the state of Georgia. The results are quite surprising, and contrast with prior studies that have examined this issue. I posted a critique of this paper on the Health Affairs blog yesterday, offering a cautionary note about the measurement and analytic strategies used to estimate the health and economic value of public health investments.
I will be hosting a roundtable discussion on these methodological issues at next week’s AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM), as part of the Public Health Systems Research Interest Group meeting. I invite you to weigh in on this discussion by posting comments here and on the Health Affairs blog, and by joining us at the ARM meeting in Minnesota.