Support Services and Licensing Fees
Licensing Fee Structure as of January 1, 2014
A great deal of information about the Health Utilities Index (HUIR) is published in the scientific literature, including the classification system and scoring formulae for each of HUI2 and HUI3. All such information is in the public domain, and can be used free of charge by any researcher subject to the normal rules of scientific citation. Unlike some other instruments, HUInc does not charge a license fee for use of any materials that are already available in the open literature.
In addition to this publicly available information, HUInc. has developed a large number of additional materials (instrumentation) that are proprietary. These proprietary materials may be used only with written permission from HUInc. and upon payment of licensing fees (see Item 12 below). See also the HUInc. User Licensing Agreement. Such materials include a suite of questionnaires for different kinds of studies, all designed to collect the basic health status information as accurately and efficiently as possible. The questionnaires have evolved over time and continue to be improved. The questionnaires have been carefully translated and culturally adapted, following well established methods, into numerous languages. Additional material includes coding manuals and technical manuals for a variety of issues and situations that arise in studies. Moreover, Health Utilities Inc. has extensive experience and expertise in the use of the HUI, all of which is available to its clients. Although it is possible to do it yourself, we strongly argue that doing so is false economy. We are aware of a number of studies which have been severely compromised due to use of poor HUI instrumentation developed by the researchers.
The following information is provided to help you understand more about costs of HUI support services, licensing agreements for use of copyrighted materials, and intellectual property rights in HUI materials. 1. The provision of HUI support services and proprietary instrumentation is supported on a fee-for-service basis and provided by a private-sector company, Health Utilities Inc. (HUInc.). HUInc. was formed in June 1998 in response to increasing demand for high-quality HUI support services and to create a system for funding the provision of ongoing support services. HUInc. is the exclusive distributor of HUI questionnaires and other proprietary materials and grants permission for use of its materials one study at a time. Proprietary materials (e.g., questionnaires, coding algorithms and procedure manuals) may not be used or altered or sold or distributed or translated or adapted into another medium (e.g., computer or worldwide web) without written permission of HUInc. The development of these materials was supported privately and was not supported by funds from granting agencies.
|2. HUInc. operates on a fee-for-service basis and has received no funding, either directly or indirectly, to provide support for academic, government or private-sector applications of HUI.|
|3. HUInc. licensing fees cover both indirect and direct costs. Indirect costs are associated with the development, maintenance and distribution of high-quality HUI-related instrumentation. The costs of initial development, upgrading, marketing, and maintaining the integrity of HUInc. instrumentation are amortized over numerous studies. (Like most other types of property, major costs are associated with ongoing maintenance as well as initial development.) The direct costs include costs of initial consultation from HUInc. personnel to help identify the most appropriate instrumentation for a particular study and the provision to each study of an appropriate and complete set of HUI instrumentation.|
|4. Permission to use HUInc. proprietary materials is granted one study at a time and, therefore, the licensing fee schedule for research studies is also structured on the one-study-at-a-time model. A one-study-at-a-time fee schedule facilitates amortizing indirect costs across studies and is congruent with individual research study proposal budgets.|
|5. The costs of HUInc. instrumentation is typically only a very small proportion of total study costs required to collect, manage, analyze, interpret and report HUI results.|
|6. HUInc. fees are cost-effective relative to relevant alternatives such as the development of a set of instrumentation based on published HUI-related information in the public domain.|
7. Researchers considering developing their own HUI instrumentation are advised that this may be done without payment of fees to HUInc. but they are cautioned that:
a) pirated questionnaires and other HUInc. proprietary materials may not be used in the development or testing process;
b) HUInc. may not be in a position to help with measurement problems;
c) HUInc. assistance with nonstandard instrumentation is expensive (e.g., preparing a custom procedure/coding manual);
d) testing of custom instrumentation is expensive and time consuming;
e) custom instruments often lack credibility; and
f) because of the lack of standardization, custom instruments generally do not facilitate inter-study comparisons of results.
|8. HUInc. has a policy of being fair and equitable to all clients. It is our opinion that anything else is fraught with complications and ultimately bad feelings. All new studies using HUInc. instrumentation, even studies directed by co-developers of the underlying HUI health status classification and utility scoring systems, pay fees in accordance with the posted pricing schedule.|
|9. HUInc. offers a limited number of grants each year to qualified graduate students and junior faculty members. Contact Bill Furlong at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Gauld at email@example.com for details.|
|10. HUInc. develops and maintains cost-effective, high quality instrumentation for HUI applications. Maintenance of high-quality, standardized instrumentation is important to users of HUI because it is necessary to ensure that HUI applications can produce valid results that are commensurate across studies. In general, investigators who have developed their own materials have encountered far more difficulties than those who obtained materials from HUInc.|
|11. The field of outcomes research is coming to the realization that, like any type of instruments (e.g., spectrophotometers), you tend to get what you pay for (or you have to pay for what you want to get). It seems that there are inexpensive but poorly-supported instruments and there are high-quality well-supported instruments, but inexpensive high-quality instruments are rare.|
12. LICENSING FEES:
The basic Application and Interpretation Package licensing fee is $5,000.00. This package includes initial consultation to determine the most appropriate questionnaires for use in a specific study, and permission to use one version of a HUI questionnaire and the matching procedures manual set in one study. Data collection phases of studies are assumed to last 3 years. For data-collection phases lasting more than 3 years or requiring extensions beyond the initial 3 year period require written permission from HUInc. Re-licensing fees at 60% of the initial fee may apply upon renewal.
A number of years ago HUInc initiated a 3-tier licensing fee schedule for its standard 'paper&pencil' survey instruments and instruction/application manual. The "tiered" fee schedule greatly reduces the total price to studies using multiple "off-the-shelf" versions of either self-complete or interviewer-administered format HUI questionnaires. The fee schedule (in US$) is as follows (all fees are for the number of questionnaire versions per study, not the number of subjects or assessments per study):
I: $5,000.00 for the base package of Manual and 1 version of questionnaire plus
In regards to budgeting, if a study requires only one version of HUI questionnaire then the fee will be $5,000.00. If the study requires more than one type/version of questionnaire the fee schedule becomes more complicated.
NOTE: HUInc Licensing Fees are subject to change without notice. For more details about Licensing or other HUI-related information contact the HUInc Service Centre (see Contacts page for contact information) OR complete an Application Profile for a no obligation consultation.