This site uses cookies

Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us to improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary Cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and they can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.

Analytical Cookies

In order to best serve its website customers, ADA maintains data indicating which website pages are of interest to its customers. Information is maintained in aggregate and not by individual customers. If you do not wish to allow ADA to track your visit in aggregate, please select the 'I do not accept' option below. Click the Save Settings button to set your preference.

I accept the usage of analytical cookies
I do not accept the use of analytical cookies

Please note that this pop-up notice will appear on every CDR website page until you have saved your preferred setting.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

MNT: Cost Effectiveness, Cost-benefit, or Economic Savings of MNT (2009)


MNT Cost-Effectiveness

Health care economics and terminology

Economic analyses, including cost utility, cost effectiveness and cost benefit analyses, evaluate which program or intervention has the greatest effect at the lowest cost. Costs of the intervention are described in monetary terms. Effects or benefits of the intervention can be expressed as either costs (as in cost-benefit analysis) or as health outcomes, such as cases of a disease prevented, years of life gained, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), or changes in intermediate outcomes (e.g. mg/dL). The variety of ways that cost studies present their outcomes makes it a challenge to compare studies. Economic studies derived from clinical trial data are stronger than model-based analyses, but models can help with economic predicting when trial data are not available. Cost analyses vary by the perspective (i.e., societal, health system) which determines of what type of costs (i.e., direct, indirect, cost to patient) are included in the analysis.

While no standard definition exists for the evaluation of interventions, it has been suggested that interventions which cost less than $20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) are appropriate ways to use resources, those that cost $20,000-$100,000 per QALY are probably appropriate, and those that cost more than $100,000 per QALY may not be an appropriate way to use resources.  (Urbanski P, Wolf AM, Herman WH. Cost effectiveness issues of diabetes prevention and treatment. Newsflash. 2008;29(1):17-19. Available at