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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...
September 15, 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
Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Peter Schroder-Beck, 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...
July 12, 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Olga Löblová
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Yoko Ibuka, Shun-Ichiro Bessho
While studies have shown that reductions in out-of-pocket payments for vaccination generally encourages vaccination uptake, research on the impact on health outcomes has rarely been examined. Thus, the present study, using municipal-level survey data on a subsidy programme for influenza vaccination in Japan that covers the entire country, examines how reductions in out-of-pocket payments for vaccination among non-elderly individuals through a subsidy programme affected regional-level influenza activity. We find that payment reductions are negatively correlated with the number of weeks with a high influenza alert in that region, although the correlation varied across years...
July 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Olivier J Wouters, Jonathan Cylus, Wei Yang, Sarah Thomson, Martin McKee
Medical savings accounts (MSAs) allow enrolees to withdraw money from earmarked funds to pay for health care. The accounts are usually accompanied by out-of-pocket payments and a high-deductible insurance plan. This article reviews the association of MSAs with efficiency, equity, and financial protection. We draw on evidence from four countries where MSAs play a significant role in the financing of health care: China, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States of America. The available evidence suggests that MSA schemes have generally been inefficient and inequitable and have not provided adequate financial protection...
July 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Richard B Saltman, Juha Teperi
The Finnish health care system is widely respected for its pilot role in creating primary-care-led health systems. In the early 1990s, however, a severe economic downturn in Finland reduced public funding and weakened the Finnish system's deeply decentralized model of health care administration. Recent Bank of Finland projections forecasting several decades of slow economic growth, combined with the impact of an aging population, appear to make major reform of the existing public system inevitable. Over the last several years, political attention has focused mostly on administrative consolidation inside the public sector, particularly integration of health and social services...
July 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Olga Löblová
In the past two decades, setting up independent health technology assessment (HTA) agencies has become a popular tool to inform reimbursement decision-making in health care, spreading from Northern European countries across Western Europe but much less so to post-communist countries. Structural political science explanations leave gaps in clarifying this diffusion pattern. This paper proposes a theoretical model focusing on the influence of domestic epistemic communities mitigating policy diffusion. Based on a review of HTA institutions in the EU, it proposes a chronological taxonomy of HTA agencies in Europe (the forerunners, the mainstreamers and the non-adopters) and asks why there is such an important East-West divide...
July 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Carlota Quintal, José Lopes
Equity in health care financing is recognised as a main goal in health policy. It implies that payments should be linked to capacity to pay and that households should be protected against catastrophic health expenditure (CHE). The risk of CHE is inversely related to the share of out-of-pocket payments (OOP) in total health expenditure. In Portugal, OOP represented 26% of total health expenditure in 2010 [one of the highest among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries]. This study aims to identify the proportion of households with CHE in Portugal and the household factors associated with this outcome...
July 2016: 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...
June 27, 2016: 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...
June 20, 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Dani Filc, Nissim Cohen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Michael R Richards, Daniel Polsky
Access to medical care and how it differs for various patients remain key policy issues. While existing work has examined clinic structure's influence on productivity, less research has explored the link between provider mix and access for different patient types - which also correspond to different service prices. We exploit experimental data from a large field study spanning 10 US states where trained audit callers were randomly assigned an insurance status and then contacted primary care physician practices seeking new patient appointments...
April 2016: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
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