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Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health

image of Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health

Following a brief pause after the economic crisis, health expenditure is rising again in most OECD countries. Yet, a considerable part of this health expenditure makes little or no contribution to improving people's health. In some cases, it even results in worse health outcomes. Countries could potentially spend significantly less on health care with no impact on health system performance, or on health outcomes. This report systematically reviews strategies put in place by countries to limit ineffective spending and waste. On the clinical front, preventable errors and low-value care are discussed. The operational waste discussion reviews strategies to obtain lower prices for medical goods and to better target the use of expensive inputs. Finally, the report reviews countries experiences in containing administrative costs and integrity violations in health.

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Wasting with intention: Fraud, abuse, corruption and other integrity violations in the health sector

This chapter discusses fraud, abuse, corruption and other integrity violations that divert resources from the health care system and as such are wasteful. The first section explains why the health sector is prone to integrity violations and gathers evidence on the scale of the problem in OECD countries. The second section analyses in more details integrity violations in service delivery and financing and reviews how OECD countries detect, prevent and tackle them. The third section points to the most common inappropriate business practices observed across health care systems and maps some of the regulatory and self-regulatory approaches used by countries to limit such practices.

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