This is a unique, in-depth discussion of the uses and conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA) as decision-making aids in the health and medical fields. The product of over two years of deiberation by a multi-disciplinary Public Health Service appointed panel that included economists, ethicists, psychometricians, and clinicians, it explores cost-effectiveness in the context of societal decision-making for resource allocation purposes. It proposes that analysts include a "reference-case" analysis in all CEA's designed to inform resource allocation and puts forth the most expicit set of guidelines (together with their rationale) ever outlined of the conduct of CEAs. Important theoretical and practical issues encountered in measuring costs and effectiveness, valuing outcomes, discounting, and dealing with uncertainty are examined in separate chapters. These discussions are complemented by additional chapters on framing and reporting of CEAs that aim to clarify the purpose of the analysis and the effective communication of its findings. Primarily intended for analysts in medicine and public health who wish to improve practice and comparability of CEAs, this book will also be of interest to decision-makers in government, managed care, and industry who wish to consider the roles and limitations of CEA and become familiar with criteria for evaluating these studies.