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Health Economics, Policy, and Law

Joan Costa-Font, Azusa Sato, Joan Rovira Forns
Publicly funded health system reforms increasingly require the evaluation of competing programmes. However, programmes are made of multi-dimensional attributes of value (where value refers to latent expectations of health system improvement). This paper identifies the design, implementation and validation of a methodology to elicit health system values to guide health care priority setting. The exercise suggests that the proposed methodology is suitable for eliciting and validating health system values, and its findings show that pursuing health gain alone does not fully capture the dimensions of health system value...
March 15, 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Romy E Bes, Emile C Curfs, Peter P Groenewegen, Judith D de Jong
In a health care system based on managed competition, health insurers negotiate on quality and price with care providers and are allowed to offer restrictive health plans. It is crucial that enrolees who need care choose restrictive health plans, as otherwise health insurers cannot channel patients to contracted providers and they will lose their bargaining power in negotiations with providers. We aim to explain enrolees' choice of a restrictive health plan in exchange for a lower premium. In 2014 an online survey with an experimental design was conducted on members of an access panel (response 78%; n=3,417)...
March 14, 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Sergey Shishkin, Liudmila Zasimova
The adoption of new medical technologies often generates losses in efficiency associated with the excess or insufficient acquisition of new equipment, an inappropriate choice (in terms of economic and clinical parameters) of medical equipment, and its poor use. Russia is a good example for exploring the problem of the ineffective adoption of new medical technologies due to the massive public investment in new equipment for medical institutions in 2006-2013. This study examines the procurement of new technologies in Russian hospitals to find the main causes of inefficiency...
March 2, 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Theodore Marmor, Michael K Gusmano
The election of Donald Trump, coupled with the retention of Republican majorities in the US House of Representatives and Senate, raises questions about future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the structure and funding of the country's public health insurance programs - Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance Program - and the direction of health policy in the United States, more generally. Political scientists are not renowned for their capacity to predict the future and many of those who forecast election results have received criticism in recent weeks for failing to predict the Trump victory...
February 23, 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Asri Maharani, Gindo Tampubolon
Hoping to improve their health system performance, many countries have corporatised their hospitals in the past 20 years. What this means for hospital performance remains as yet largely unknown. This study looks into the association of corporatisation and hospital performance in Indonesia. We apply panel data regression analysis to survey data on 54 public hospitals in East Java province. Our analysis suggests that corporatisation is associated with higher hospital income and expenditure, but fails to improve efficiency and equity...
January 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Peter Schroder-Bäck, Helmut Brand
The Joint Procurement Agreement (JPA) is an innovative instrument for multi-country procurement of medical countermeasures against cross-border health threats. This paper aims to assess its potential performance. A literature review was conducted to identify key features of successful joint procurement programmes. Documentary analysis and a key informants' interview were carried out to analyse the European Union (EU) JPA. Ownership, equity, transparency, stable central financing, standardisation, flexibility and gradual development were identified as important prerequisites for successful establishment of multi-country joint procurement programmes in the literature while security of supply, favourable prices, reduction of operational costs and administrative burden and creation of professional expert networks were identified as desirable outcomes...
2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Scott L Greer, Phillip M Singer
The United States' experience with the Ebola virus in 2014 provides a window into US public health politics. First, the United States provided a case study in the role of suasion and executive action in the management of public health in a fragmented multi-level system. The variable capacity of different parts of the United States to respond to Ebola on the level of hospitals or state governments, and their different approaches, show the limitations of federal influence, the importance of knowledge and executive energy, and the diversity of both powerful actors and sources of power...
January 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Laura Schang, Alec Morton
Where policy ends are contested and means for change are ambiguous, imposing central targets on local organisations - what we call hierarchist governance - is problematic. The concept of experimentalist governance suggests that target-setting should rather be a learning process between central regulators and local organisations. However, the relationship between experimentalist and hierarchist governance remains unclear. Existing literature suggests that the learning-oriented experimentalist logic is hard to reconcile with a hierarchist logic focussed on accountability for results...
January 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Marie Sanderson, Pauline Allen, Dorota Osipovic
This article examines the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 on the regulation of competition in the English National Health Service (NHS), by focussing on the change it marked from a system of sector-specific regulation to one which is clearly based in competition law. It has been suggested that the Act and its associated reforms would significantly alter accountability in the NHS, and would change decisions from the remit of public policy to that of the law. To assess the impact the Act has had in practice, the article compares the interpretation of the rules regarding competition in the NHS by the regulators of competition immediately before, and following, the passing of the Act...
January 2017: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Tom Vandersteegen, Wim Marneffe, Irina Cleemput, Dominique Vandijck, Lode Vereeck
In 2010 the Belgian government introduced a low cost administrative procedure for compensating medical injuries to overcome the major shortcomings of the existing tort system. This paper examines, for the first time, to what extent this reform had an impact on physician specialists' defensive practices and what are the relevant determinants affecting physicians' clinical decision making. Based on a survey of 508 physicians, we find evidence of a relatively modest increase in defensive practices among physicians in various specialties...
November 22, 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Floortje Moes, Eddy Houwaart, Diana Delnoij, Klasien Horstman
This paper examines a remarkable lawsuit in health care rationing. The Patients Association for Interstitial Cystitis sued the Dutch National Health Care Institute for alleged misconduct against Interstitial Cystitis patients, as the Institute decided that bladder instillations with chondroitin sulphate or hyaluronic acid are no longer covered by the basic health insurance. The patients' organisation challenged the Institute for basing its standpoint on scientific evidence; overruling clinical expertise and patients' experiences...
November 15, 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Eduardo J Gómez
In recent years, several emerging economies have introduced national health insurance programs ensuring access to health care while offering financial protection from out-of-pocket and catastrophic expenses. Nevertheless, in several nations these expenses continue to increase. While recent research has emphasized the lack of funding, poor policy design and corruption as the main culprits, little is known about the politics of establishing federal regulatory agencies ensuring that state governments adhere to national insurance reimbursement and coverage procedures...
November 14, 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Jay Pan, Xuezheng Qin, Chee-Ruey Hsieh
The new round of health care reforms in China achieved significant initial results. New and emerging problems coinciding with the deepening of the reforms, however, require further institutional changes to strengthen the competition mechanism and promote public hospital efficiency. This paper provides a conceptual framework and preliminary assessment of public hospital competition in China. Specifically, we distinguish between two closely related concepts - competition and privatization, and identify several critical conditions under which hospital competition can be used as a policy instrument to improve health care delivery in China...
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Tiffany Henley, Maureen Boshier
The passage of the Affordable Care Act in the United States has opened a policy window for the establishment of an independent Medicaid agency for the Navajo Nation. This article explores several policy options to improve health care services for Native Americans. Although there is a lack of scholarly research on the impact of healthcare reform and the effectiveness of current health care programs for American Indians, policymakers should utilize evidence-based research to inform policy decisions.
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Michael K Gusmano, Gregory Kaebnick
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Anthony H Harris
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Alex Jingwei He, Jiwei Qian
In recent years China has witnessed a surge in medical disputes, including many widely reported violent riots, attacks, and protests in hospitals. This is the result of a confluence of inappropriate incentives in the health system, the consequent distorted behaviors of physicians, mounting social distrust of the medical profession, and institutional failures of the legal framework. The detrimental effects of the damaged doctor-patient relationship have begun to emerge, calling for rigorous study and serious policy intervention...
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Anthony J Culyer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Wei Yang
Over-prescription has become one major problem in China's health care sector. Incorporating interview data from hospitals in Shanghai, this paper provided empirical evidence on how the process of over-prescription was carried out in day-to-day clinical settings, and demonstrates various mechanisms that allow over-prescription to continue vigorously in the context of the Chinese health care system. In particular, this study identified four levels of incentives that over-prescription was carried out: hospital, medical department, doctors and pharmaceutical companies...
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Anthony J Culyer
There is misunderstanding about both the meaning and the role of cost-effectiveness thresholds in policy decision making. This article dissects the main issues by use of a bookshelf metaphor. Its main conclusions are as follows: it must be possible to compare interventions in terms of their impact on a common measure of health; mere effectiveness is not a persuasive case for inclusion in public insurance plans; public health advocates need to address issues of relative effectiveness; a 'first best' benchmark or threshold ratio of health gain to expenditure identifies the least effective intervention that should be included in a public insurance plan; the reciprocal of this ratio - the 'first best' cost-effectiveness threshold - will rise or fall as the health budget rises or falls (ceteris paribus); setting thresholds too high or too low costs lives; failure to set any cost-effectiveness threshold at all also involves avertable deaths and morbidity; the threshold cannot be set independently of the health budget; the threshold can be approached from either the demand side or the supply side - the two are equivalent only in a health-maximising equilibrium; the supply-side approach generates an estimate of a 'second best' cost-effectiveness threshold that is higher than the 'first best'; the second best threshold is the one generally to be preferred in decisions about adding or subtracting interventions in an established public insurance package; multiple thresholds are implied by systems having distinct and separable health budgets; disinvestment involves eliminating effective technologies from the insured bundle; differential weighting of beneficiaries' health gains may affect the threshold; anonymity and identity are factors that may affect the interpretation of the threshold; the true opportunity cost of health care in a community, where the effectiveness of interventions is determined by their impact on health, is not to be measured in money - but in health itself...
October 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
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