Treatment choices by seriously ill patients: the Health Stock Risk Adjustment model.


Journal Article

Anecdotal evidence suggests that patients who have life-threatening conditions often choose to undergo high-cost, high-risk treatments for them. This kind of risk-seeking behavior seems irrational because most patients are risk-averse. The Health Stock Risk Adjustment (HSRA) model seeks to explain this phenomenon. The model is based on the concept of relative health stock--the ratio of patients' expected quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) after a diagnosis to their expected QALYs before the diagnosis. The model predicts risk-averse patients will behave in a risk-seeking manner as their relative health stocks deteriorate. The HSRA model can help physicians better understand why some seriously ill patients seek high-risk treatments while others elect to forgo treatment. State legislatures and insurers are attempting to appropriately design insurance benefits for patients with life-threatening conditions. The HSRA model can help predict which patients will most likely take advantage of these benefits.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Gaskin, DJ; Kong, J; Meropol, NJ; Yabroff, KR; Weaver, C; Schulman, KA

Published Date

  • January 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 84 - 94

PubMed ID

  • 9456213

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9456213

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-681X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0272-989X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0272989x9801800116


  • eng