Objective: In the current study, we propose an approach for selection of a model that is transferable to a specific decision-making context (in this case, the Netherlands), using the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objectives of this study were (a) to perform a systematic literature review to identify existing health economic evaluation models for economic evaluation of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in RA; and (b) to test the appropriateness of a stepwise model-selection process. Methods: First, we searched Medline and Embase to identify relevant studies in the English language, published between 1 January 2002 and 31 August 2012. From the included studies, all unique models were identified. Second, we applied a multi-step approach to model selection. Models that did not meet all minimal methodological and structural requirements based on the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) criteria were excluded. Next, models were assessed on the basis of their fit when transferred to the Dutch health care setting. The criteria for model fit were transferability factors, as published by Welte et al., after exclusion of those that were deemed transferable by simple adaptation. Finally, the remaining models underwent a general quality check using the Philips checklist. Models showing good fit and high quality were considered to be transferable to the Dutch health care setting, using simple adaptation. Results: The systematic literature search identified 498 articles, which included 33 unique health economic evaluation models. Only six models passed the minimal methodological and structural requirements. Two of these models had an imperfect transferability fit to the Dutch health care setting, according to the Welte method. The remaining four models were, according to the Philips method, of good quality and were expected to be transferable by a simple adaptation. Conclusion: This study introduces a stepwise approach for selecting health economic evaluation models that are transferable by a simple adaptation. The approach seems feasible and can be applied in various therapeutic areas, provided that the minimal methodological and structural requirements are defined accordingly. Availability of health economic evaluation models coupled with structured model selection could improve the efficiency, quality and comparability of health economic research.