Value for Money in Health Spending

image of Value for Money in Health Spending

Health spending continues to rise inexorably, growing faster than the economy in most OECD countries. Most of this spending comes from the public purse. Given the recent economic downturn, countries are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of health spending. This publication examines current efforts to improve health care efficiency, including tools that show promise in helping health systems provide the best care for their money, such as pay for performance, co-ordination of care, health technology assessment and clinical guidelines, pharmaceutical re-imbursement and risk-sharing agreements, and information and communication technology.

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Executive Summary

OECD countries have made tremendous strides in improving population health over recent decades. Life expectancy at birth has increased, rising on average by ten years between 1960 and 2008. Today, a woman aged 65 can expect to live another 20 years, and a man an additional 17 years. And although socio-economic inequalities in health status and access to care remain, reductions in child mortality and gains in population health have continued to improve at a steady pace. These achievements can in part be attributed to increased incomes and higher levels of education. But a good portion of these gains comes from improvements in health care itself – through technological progress and evidencebased treatment, in particular.

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