An Overview of the Conceptual Simulation Modelling for Optimizing Funds Allocation in Health Care: Hip and Knee Replacement Case

Alexei Botchkarev

Abstract

Allocation of funds is one of the most important functions of the health care authorities. Performance of this function has implications not only for the macro-level health care system but also for individual patients whose wait times for medical procedures may be affected. In this paper, we consider conceptual simulation modelling of a multi-tier system of funds allocation. Allocation of funds is examined on a case of funding common surgical procedures: hip and knee replacements (HKRs). This study was motivated by the question: how to build a simulation model that will contribute to more effective allocation of HKRs funds? Effectiveness of funds allocation (optimization criteria) is viewed from the perspective of wait times reduction. The purpose of conceptual modelling was to provide a high-level description of the objects under consideration and understanding of the situations, systems, processes, their interactions, etc. Conceptual modelling revealed several key findings which need to be considered during implementation of simulation models that will allow better allocation of funds. From the methodology perspective, the study can be defined as a simulation-based healthcare resource allocation combinatorial optimization in a queueing-system environment.

Keywords

Fund allocation; Health economics; Hip and knee replacement; Optimization; Simulation and modelling.

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