Achieving Better Value for Money in Health Care

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Rising public health care spending remains a problem in virtually all OECD and EU member countries. As a consequence, there is growing interest in policies that will ease this pressure through improved health system performance. This report examines selected policies that may help countries better achieve the goal of improved health system efficiency and thus better value for money. Drawing on multinational data sets and case studies, it examines a range policy instruments. These include: the role of competition in health markets; the scope for improving care coordination; better pharmaceutical pricing policies; greater quality control supported by stronger information and communication technology in health care; and increased cost sharing.

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The six chapters in this volume were prepared for a one-day conference, “Improving Health System Efficiency: Achieving Better Value for Money”, held on 17 September 2008 in Brussels. Jointly organised by the European Commission and the OECD, the purpose of the conference was to assess policies leading to more rational use of resources in the health care sector and the potential of such policies to promote long-term sustainability of health systems. Attendees included officials of the two hosting institutions and other international organisations, representatives of their member countries who hold policy-setting positions and technical experts.

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