Gastroenterologists mainly deal with chronic organic and functional illnesses that are not life threatening but can be expensive to treat. How this compares with the management of other diseases that cause significant mortality is an important question to answer if health-care resources are to be allocated appropriately. Comparing health care in terms of cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained is one approach to this problem although there are concerns about whose values should be elicited and how QALYs are measured.
American Journal of Gastroenterology Vol. 100, Issue 3, p. 534-536