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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Policies for Health Care Systems when Money is Tight

This chapter reviews policies that have been used in OECD countries both to control health care spending and their impact on health systems objectives. On the supply side, macroeconomic policies controlling inputs or prices of health services have been widely used. Provider incentives aimed to improve efficiency are increasingly being used. On the demand side, policies have first focused on shifting costs to the private sector; they now seek to reduce the need for health care through prevention and information, and to encourage better co-ordination of care. It explores the risks and trade-offs of quick cost-cutting fixes versus longer-term gains in efficiency.

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