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International Health

August 12, 2020

Johns Hopkins Receives Grant to Develop Model to Project Health Expenditures in Latin America and the Caribbean


The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health received a grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to develop an economic model to project health expenditures in the Latin America and the Caribbean region over the next 30 years. The 18-month project is a collaborative effort between Johns Hopkins faculty and researchers from eight countries in the LAC region. The project is led by Krishna D. Rao, PhD ’04, MSc, an associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School.

As populations in the LAC region live longer and older adults become a larger proportion of the total population, the region is likely to face major economic challenges caring for aging populations with chronic health conditions. Health care expenditure is projected to rise faster than economic growth for many reasons, including the shift toward chronic and noncommunicable diseases, which are more costly to manage and treat. Total health expenditure in the region is expected to increase substantially, and, given budgetary restrictions, the region’s health systems need to identify the factors that will drive health costs and implement policies to prevent or mitigate them.

Using multiple data sources, researchers will simulate total health expenditure for countries in the LAC region for the next 30 years. The model will simulate how health expenditures will change based on changes in demography, epidemiology, and treatment patterns. Working closely with local country partners, the team will also develop a toolkit that individual countries can update after the project ends and as new data becomes available.

The international research team includes experts in health financing and economics, demography, epidemiology, modeling, health systems, and policy analysis. Other Bloomberg faculty working on the project include David Bishai PhD, MPH, a professor in the Department of Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health; Timothy Roberton DrPH '15, MPH, an assistant scientist in the Department of International Health; and Andres Vecino-Ortiz MD, PhD, MSc, an assistant scientist in the Department of International Health.

Researchers from the following organizations are also part of the team:

  • Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico.
  • INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Instituto de Análisis y Gestión (IAGes), Perú.
  • The University of the West Indies, Jamaica.
  • Javeriana University, Colombia

The Inter-American Development Bank was established in December of 1959 to help accelerate economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank provides loans, technical assistance and policy guidance to further its goals of poverty reduction and sustainable development in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.