Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) estimates the costs and health gains of alternative interventions. CEA provides a method for prioritizing the allocation of resources to environment and health interventions by identifying projects that have the potential to yield the greatest improvement in health for the least resources.
Cost Effectiveness Analysis quantifies the gains, or setbacks, in population health as a result of a particular policy or intervention. The gains are typically measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), representing a weighted combination of mortality and morbidity effects of an intervention. (Other possible denominators could include cost per life saved or cost per life year saved, but these fail to capture the morbidity element.)
CEA furthermore provides for the quantification of the net costs of the intervent ion (promotional, preventative, curative, or rehabilitation), and an assessment of those costs per disability-adjusted life year that is saved. There are problems with the standardization of the tools and methods of CEA.