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Health Economics, Policy, and Law

Zuzana Nordeng, Frode Veggeland
This article studies the implementation of the European Union (EU)'s Patients' Rights Directive in Germany and Norway. The objective of the Directive was to allow EU member states to have a say in the regulatory work, ensure predictability and uniformity in the application of EU rules on cross-border care, and enhance a move towards EU harmonisation in this area. So far, the implementation processes in Norway and Germany have mixed results regarding the likelihood of achieving uniformity and harmonisation. Although the Directive has had convergent effects on certain areas of cross-border care, such as setting up National Contact Points and providing patients with the basic right to treatment abroad, implementation also shows divergent patterns...
August 30, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Jianxing Yu, Yue Qiu, Ziying He
China has achieved nearly universal social health insurance (SHI) coverage by implementing three statutory schemes, but gaps and differences in benefit levels are apparent. There is wide agreement that China should merge the three schemes into a universal and uniform SHI. However, data on the medical expenses of all inpatients in 2014 at a public Tier-three hospital suggests that supply-induced demand (SID) is a serious concern and that, under the design of the current schemes, a higher benefit level has a greater impact on the total expenses of insured patients...
August 6, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Caroline Hoffstedt, Magnus Fredriksson, Håkan Lenhoff, Ulrika Winblad
Improving the ability of patients to make informed choices of health care provider can give providers more incentive to compete based on quality. Still, it is not evident to what extent and when people search for information when choosing a provider. The aim of this study is to identify under what circumstances individuals seek information when choosing a primary care provider. Research to date has mostly focused on individuals' demographic and socio-economic characteristics and the poor availability of information as barriers to information-seeking and use...
August 3, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Stephen Birch
Models for projecting the demand for and supply of health care workers are generally based on objectives of meeting demands for health care and assumptions of status quo in all but the demographic characteristics of populations. These models fail to recognise that public intervention in health care systems arises from market failure in health care and the absence of an independent demand for health care. Hence projections of demand perpetuate inefficiencies in the form of overutilisation of services on the one hand and unmet needs for care on the other...
August 2, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Richard M Scheffler, Daniel R Arnold
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Sheena Asthana, Alex Gibson
Explanations of the state of 'crisis' in the English National Health Service (NHS) generally focus on the overall level of health care funding rather than the way in which funding is distributed. Describing systematic patterns in the way different areas are experiencing crisis, this paper suggests that NHS organisations in older, rural and particularly coastal areas are more likely to be 'failing' and that this is due to the historic underfunding of such areas. This partly reflects methodological and technical shortcomings in NHS resource allocation formulae...
August 2, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Jaime Pinilla, Beatriz G López-Valcárcel, Miguel A Negrín
In January 2006, the Spanish government enacted a tobacco control law that banned smoking in bars and restaurants, with exceptions depending on the floor space of the premises. In January 2011, further legislation in this area was adopted, removing these exceptions. We analyse the effect produced on cigarette sales by these two bans. We approach this problem using an interrupted time series analysis while accounting for the potential effects of autocorrelation and seasonality. The data source used was the official data on legal sales of tobacco in Spain, from January 2000 to December 2015 (excluding the Canary Islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla)...
July 30, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Stefanie Ettelt
Health technology assessment is frequently credited with making difficult resource allocation decisions in health care fairer, more rational and more transparent. In Germany, a constitutional 'right to health' allows patients to challenge decisions by sickness funds to withhold reimbursement of treatment excluded from public funding because of insufficient evidence of effectiveness. The ability to litigate was qualified by the Constitutional Court in its 2005 'Nikolaus decision' that sets out criteria to be applied to these cases...
July 27, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Sam van Herwaarden, Iris Wallenburg, Joris Messelink, Roland Bal
While we know that upcoding of diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) regularly occurs, we have little knowledge of the role of the technical features of coding systems in inducing coding behaviour. This paper presents methods for investigating the financial structure of the Dutch DRG system, and more in particular the grouper software, to gain such insight. The paper describes a system for investigating the robustness of the reward structure, by simulating the response of the DRG system to small changes in individual coding...
July 27, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Dayashankar Maurya, M Ramesh
Published works on health insurance tend to focus on program design and its impact, neglecting the implementation process that links the two and affects outcomes. This paper examines the National Health Insurance [Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)] in India with the objective of assessing the role of implementation structures and processes in shaping performance. The central question that the paper addresses is: why does the performance of RSBY vary across states despite similar program design? Using a comparative case study approach analyzing the program's functioning in three states, it finds the answer in the differences in governance of implementation...
July 27, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Ronelle Burger, Carmen Christian
We use a reliable, intuitive and simple set of indicators to capture three dimensions of access - availability, affordability and acceptability. Data are from South Africa's 2009 and 2010 General Household Surveys (n=190,164). Affordability constraints were faced by 23% and are more concentrated amongst the poorest. However, 73% of affordability constraints are due to travel costs which are aligned with findings of the availability constraints dimension. Availability constraints, involving distances and transport costs, particularly in underdeveloped rural areas, and inconvenient opening times, were faced by 27%...
July 12, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Johanna Sandberg, Bo Persson, Peter Garpenby
There is a growing recognition of the importance of evidence to support allocative policy decisions in health care. This study is based on interviews with politicians in four regional health authorities in Sweden. Drawing on theories of strategic use of knowledge, the article analyses how politicians perceive and make use of expert knowledge represented by the National Guidelines, embracing both a scientific and a political rationale. As health care is an organisation with a dual basis for legitimacy - at the same time a political and an action organisation - it affects knowledge use...
July 10, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Peter Baker, Thomas Hone, Aaron Reeves, Mauricio Avendano, Christopher Millett
Inequalities in infant mortality rates (IMRs) are rising in some low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and decreasing in others, but the explanation for these divergent trends is unclear. We investigate whether government expenditures and redistribution are associated with reductions in inequalities in IMRs. We estimated country-level fixed-effects panel regressions for 48 LMICs (142 country observations). Slope and Relative Indices of Inequality in IMRs (SII and RII) were calculated from Demographic and Health Surveys between 1993 and 2013...
June 27, 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Colleen M Flood, Greg Marchildon, Gail Paech
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Colleen M Flood, Bryan Thomas
In September 2016, a case went to trial in British Columbia that seeks to test the constitutionality of provincial laws that (1) ban private health insurance for medically necessary hospital and physician services; (2) ban extra-billing (physicians cannot charge patients more than the public tariff); and (3) require physicians to work solely for the public system or 'opt-out' and practice privately. All provinces have similar laws that have been passed to meet the requirements of federal legislation, the Canada Health Act (and thus qualify for federal funds)...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Virginia Berridge
Policy makers like the idea of new initiatives and fresh starts, unencumbered by, even actively overthrowing, what has been done in the past. At the same time, history can be pigeonholed as fusty and antiquarian, dealing with long past events of no relevance to the present. Academic historians are sometimes bound up in their own worlds. The debates central to academe may have little direct relevance to the immediate concerns of policy making. The paper argues that history, as the evidence-based discipline par excellence, is as relevant as other approaches to evidence-based policy making...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Jacalyn Duffin
Physicians are deeply involved in Canadian medicare because it is through medicare that they are paid. However, from its origins to the present physicians -as a profession - have not been strong supporters of medicare. Fearing loss of income and individual autonomy, they have frequently opposed it with criticisms, strikes, threatened job action and lawsuits. Some opponents are unaware that medicare was a boon to physician income, and many fail to connect medicare with responsibility for improving the health status of the country...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Sally Sheard
Health systems have repeatedly addressed concerns about efficiency and equity by employing trans-national comparisons to draw out the strengths and weaknesses of specific policy initiatives. This paper demonstrates the potential for explicit historical analysis of waiting times for hospital treatment to add value to spatial comparative methodologies. Waiting times and the size of the lists of waiting patients have become key operational indicators. In the United Kingdom, as National Health Service (NHS) financial pressures intensified from the 1970s, waiting times have become a topic for regular public and political debate...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Anne M Rafferty
This paper takes the 70th Anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom as an opportunity to reflect upon the strategic direction of nursing policy and the extent to which nurses can realise their potential as change agents in building a better future for health care. It argues that the policy trajectory set for nursing at the outset of the NHS continues to influence its strategic direction, and that the trajectory needs to be reset with the voices of nurses being more engaged in the design, as much as the delivery of health policy...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
Carol Propper
The use of competition and the associated increase in choice in health care is a popular reform model, adopted by many governments across the world. Yet it is also a hotly contested model, with opponents seeing it, at best, as a diversion of energy or a luxury and, at worst, as leading to health care inequality and waste. This paper subjects the use of competition in health care to scrutiny. It begins by examining the theoretical case and then argues that only by looking at evidence can we understand what works and when...
July 2018: Health Economics, Policy, and Law
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