The performance and publication of cost-utility analyses in plastic surgery: Making our specialty relevant
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Increased spending and reduced funding for health care is forcing decision makers to prioritize procedures and redistribute funds. Decision making is based on reliable data regarding the costs and benefits of medical and surgical procedures; such a study design is known as an economic evaluation. The onus is on the plastic surgery community to produce high-quality economic evaluations that support the cost effectiveness of the procedures that are performed. The present review focuses on the cost-utility analysis and its role in deciding whether a novel technique/procedure/technology should be accepted over one that is prevalent. Additionally, the five steps in undertaking a cost-utility (effectiveness) analysis are outlined.