Value for Money in Health Spending

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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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OECD health ministers met in Paris on 7th-8th October 2010 to reflect on the tremendous progress made in the health of the populations of their countries, due in no small part to the improvements that have been made in health systems. But they also considered the difficult path they must walk in the future. Countries have to improve the value they get from the large and increasing investment they are making in health care. This is now all the more difficult – and urgent – in light of the difficult fiscal situation facing many countries in the aftermath of the economic crisis.

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