Health Policy Developments 13 -  - ebook

Health Policy Developments 13 ebook

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Opis

Health policy in times of crisis is one of the topics of Health Policy Developments 13 exploring the challenge the crisis has posed to health systems, but also asking whether it has provided an opportunity for reform. While some countries like Estonia drastically reduced their healthcare budgets, others, such as Austria and the United States, have responded with plans to boost public expenditure. Can the crisis provide a window of opportunity for reform? In spite of the global financial crisis, for many, confidence in market mechanisms seems not to have been shaken. One of the key assumptions of contemporary health policy debate remains: more competition will help produce systems where resources are used more efficiently. However, as governments seek to enhance market mechanisms in health systems, successful regulation is needed to facilitate those changes and avoid unintended consequences. To assess the effects of competition and regulation, as well as other reform approaches, systematic analysis is needed. Health policy evaluation, therefore, is another focus of this issue of Health Policy Developments, as well as hospital care and its coordination with other sectors, prevention and health inequalities. The International Network Health Policy and Reform aims to narrow the gap between health services research and health policy. Network partners are research institutions and health policy experts from 20 industrialized countries.

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Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic information is available online at http://dnb.d-nb.de
© 2010 E-Book-Ausgabe (EPUB) © 2009 Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh
Responsible: Sophia SchletteCopy editor: Celia BohannonProduction editor: Sabine ReimannCover design: Nadine HumannCover illustration: \C Aperto AG, BerlinTypesetting and printing:Hans Kock Buch- und Offsetdruck GmbH, Bielefeld
ISBN : 978-3-86793-281-3
www.bertelsmann-stiftung.org/publications

www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/verlag

Inhaltsverzeichnis
Titel
Impressum
Preface
Crisis or opportunity? Health policy and the financial downturn
Estonia: Economic crisis shaping healthcare system
Austria: Health policy response to the crisis
United States: Recovery act stimulates health IT and comparative effectiveness research
United States: Expanding Medicare for universal coverage?
Balancing competition and regulation
Germany: Major financing reforms now underway
Netherlands: Early results of “regulated competition”
Singapore: Re-regulating doctors’ fees
United States: Shedding light on doctor-drug company connections
Evaluation: Still the poor cousin
Canada: Positive evaluation inspires wider rollout of integrated care
New Zealand: Evaluation of primary care reform finds enhanced role for nurses
United States: Does legislating nurse-patient ratios improve care quality?
France: Evaluation of cancer plan reveals the need for better follow-up
Germany: Time to evaluate disease management programs
Israel: Evaluation of a proactive program for managing clinical quality
Hospitals: Connecting with the community
Canada: Reducing emergency department wait times
New Zealand: Wait-time target of six hours for emergency departments
South Korea: Private nonprofit hospitals to raise funds through capital markets
Denmark: Hospital privatization and long-term restructuring
Poland: Tumultuous controversy over “privatization” of public hospitals
Australia: Hospital reform in New South Wales
Prevention: Yes, now, but how?
Denmark: Increasing life expectancy through prevention
United Kingdom: Encouraging healthier behavior
Finland: Tightening tobacco legislation
Israel: Computerized smoking cessation programs
Equity: Always the goal, but how serious are we?
Singapore: A legal trade in human body organs?
United Kingdom: Health inequalities- reports, reviews and re-evaluations
France: Urban Health Networks work against inequalities
South Korea: Differential out-of-pocket ceilings
The International Network Health Policy and Reform
Survey preparation and proceedings
Reporting criteria
Policy ratings
Project management
Reform tracker countries
Reform tracker health policy topics
Preface
Dear readers,
Health policy in times of crisis
At the time of writing (fall 2009), the global economy is beginning to pull out of a recession unprecedented in the post-World War II era, but the recovery is expected to be slow, according to the IMF World Economic Outlook update (October 2009). Health Policy Developments 13 addresses this issue-showing the challenge that the crisis means for some health systems, but also asking to what extend it might provide opportunities for reform. An analysis of the implications of the current crisis for health policy has to take into account the effects on currency movements as well as on the prices of health-related goods and services. Furthermore, all health systems are facing declining budgets-be it because of a drop in tax revenue or because of rising unemployment.
Cutting or expanding the budget?
Looking at responses to the crisis from our network countries, two main patterns emerge. Some countries have reduced their healthcare budgets. In Estonia, the government enacted dramatic cuts to the budget for the National Health Insurance Fund. In other countries, such as Austria or the United States, the crisis has exacerbated homegrown, decades-old problems, to which each government has responded with plans to boost public expenditure. In Austria, where rising unemployment is threatening to curb sickness funds revenues, the government is moving to create a new structural health fund endowed with tax money. In the U.S., President Obama has taken on the fight against financial disaster as a way of pushing solutions to the long-standing healthcare crisis. The nation’s recovery act, passed in February, 2009, included a substantial federal pledge toward investments in health IT and comparative effectiveness research. Against fierce opposition, the Obama administration keeps on fighting for universal health insurance coverage.
Balancing competition and regulation
In spite of a current wariness when it comes to market mechanisms: One of the key assumptions of the contemporary health policy debate is that more competition between providers and insurers and more choice for informed consumers will help produce a system where resources are used more efficiently. The challenge is a huge one: As governments seek to enhance market mechanisms in health systems, regulation to successfully facilitate those changes becomes more complex. Chapter 2 shows how countries with health systems as diverse as Germany and the Netherlands on one end, and Singapore and the U.S. on the other, address this venture.
Evaluation and its consequences
Looking back can be ever so boring. But can we do without it in health care, while trying to improve patient safety and bring the best available care to individuals and populations? In medicine, very fortunately, the evidence-based approach is constantly gaining ground, with tools like Health Technology Assessment and comparative effectiveness research spreading from one country to another. At the same time, awareness has been growing that health system outcomes could be improved if policy decisions were also based on the best possible evidence. But while evaluating the effects of past reforms can no doubt inform reforms of the present, retrospective policy analysis is rarely done. And when we do take the time to understand the impact of policy change on the health system, we often do it very poorly indeed. Chapter 3 depicts examples of evaluations from six countries-some successful, some less so-and their respective consequences.
Hospital care, prevention and health inequalities
Furthermore, we provide insights from other major health policy areas-insights that matter even more in times of crisis than in times of economic growth. How can hospital care be coordinated with other sectors in the most efficient and patient-oriented way? Can we turn around unhealthy lifestyles in industrialized nations-poor diets, physical inactivity, substance abuse-to prevent as much morbidity and mortality as possible? How can we transform the rising concern with health inequalities into effective action? Chapters 4, 5, and 6 provide some answers to these questions.
Reporting period autumn 2008 to spring 2009
The sources of information for this book were the expert reports of the International Network for Health Policy & Reform and other materials cited at the end of each chapter. The current volume presents the results of the thirteenth half-yearly survey which covers the period from October 2008 to April 2009.
Our thanks go to all experts from the partner institutions and their various co-authors: Ain Aaviksoo, Gerard Anderson, Toni Ashton, Miriam Blümel, Jean-Luc Brami, Chantal Cases, Terkel Christiansen, Elena Conis, S. Fleishman, Margalit Goldfracht, Revital Gross, Marion Haas, Maria M. Hofmarcher, Jessica Holzer, Nathan Kahan, C. Key, Eliezer Kitai, Iwona Kowalska, Soonman Kwon, Siret Läänelaid, Niki Liberman, Lim Meng Kin, Véronique Lucas, Hans Maarse, Margaret MacAdam, Allon Margalit, Eran Matz, Kjeld Møller Pedersen, Diana Ognyanova, Adam Oliver, Zeynep Or, Tanaz Petigara, Laura Schang, Jytte Seested Nielsen, Tim Tenbensel, Daniel Vardy, Lauri Vuorenkoski, and O. Yakobson.
Looking back, looking forward
Having started in 2003 as a rather small brochure, our book series Health Policy Developments over the years has developed into a full-scale half-yearly publication. Twice a year we have provided you with health policy updates and analyses from 20 industrialized countries around the globe. Covering all major health policy issues, we not only brought to you the most recent news from Austria to New Zealand. With topical introductions, we have also aimed to put this news into perspective, offering a broader and deeper view, as well as useful background information on worldwide developments. We owe great thanks to Ray Moynihan, Australia, who with his vast experience as a health writer and journalist has authored and enormously enriched the last issues of our series.
Book series to end...
We thank you for your attention and hope that reading our books has been as informative and inspiring for you as producing these books has been for us. However, after six years we have decided to go new ways in communicating the key findings from the International Network Health Policy & Reform. We will take some time to work out how to build on the strengths of our books and explore new communication channels. Soon, we will provide you with a new source of information on health policy developments in industrialized countries. If you want to let us know your thoughts or ideas on what would be most valuable to you, we’d be happy to receive your comments.
... yet the Health Policy Network is alive and well
The half-yearly reporting of the International Network Health Policy & Reform will of course be continued. Over the last seven years, we have successfully occupied a niche between health economics and public health, by closely monitoring the politics of health policy, windows of opportunity for reform, moving policy targets and shifting alliances in search of better care (or higher profits). Interest in our international and political angle of analysis has grown steadily, and we have all but good reasons to stay in our not-so-little niche.
As in the past, our Web site, the HealthPolicyMonitor (www.hpm.org), will provide you with free access to all half-yearly reports as well as other publications and information produced by our project. We will keep on informing you about the results of our work at conferences and meetings, international, regional or domestic, and we are available for presentations, interviews and networking, glad to join your event and inform your policy debates.
For now, we hope you enjoy the read and as always look forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions.
Kerstin Blum, Reinhard Busse, Sophia Schlette
Crisis or opportunity? Health policy and the financial downturn
Precisely as the need for state surveillance grew,the needed supervision shrank.There was, as a result, a disaster waiting to happen...
Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen, March 2009
A disaster waiting to happen
The disaster did of course happen. The global financial crisis that erupted in the United States housing mortgage market in September 2008 wiped trillions of dollars from the value of global assets within months, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and many more millions around the world to join the ranks of the working poor. Advanced economies experienced an “unprecedented” 7.5 percent decline in real GDP during the last quarter of 2008. Output is expected to decline in 2009 in countries representing three-quarters of the global economy (IMF 2009a). And although the global economy in October 2009 seems to be pulling out of this recession unprecedented in the post-World War II era, the recovery is expected to be slow (IMF 2009b). The combination of falling public revenues and rising public expenditure on rescue and recovery packages has further compounded the crisis. In many countries, collapsing currency values and rapid price increases are only exacerbating the problems that peoples and their governments are facing.

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Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

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Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!