1887

OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD journal on public sector budgeting, published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. Now published as a part of the OECD Journal subscription package.

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The impact of cost-containment policies on health expenditure

Evidence from recent OECD experiences

Many governments have enacted health cost-containment policies in recent years, and many are currently considering further reform alternatives to tackle growing health spending and promote efficiency in the health system, particularly in light of projections regarding future cost pressures in this sector. The focus of this study is to assess the most robust empirical evidence on the public spending effects of health policy alternatives to contain excess cost growth in the system. A stylised theoretical framework of the relationships between potential cost-containment measures, economic incentives and quantities, and health expenditure is suggested. The developed framework provides structural guidance for reviewing the evidence on the cost-containment impacts of various reforms implemented in OECD countries in the last decades. The accumulated evidence indicates that there are various alternative policies in a government’s toolkit that can be combined to achieve better cost control in the health system, provided institutional aspects and policy interactions are carefully considered.

JEL classification: I10, I18, H51.

Keywords: Health financing, cost containment, provider payment, health system reform.

English

JEL: H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Health; I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; I10: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: General
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