Future trends in health care expenditure

A modelling framework for cross-country forecasts.

Across the OECD, healthcare spending has typically outpaced economic growth in recent decades. While such spending has improved health outcomes, there are concerns about the financial sustainability of this upward trend, particularly as healthcare systems are predominantly funded from public resources in most OECD countries. To better explore this financial sustainability challenge, many countries and international institutions have developed forecasting models to project growth in future healthcare expenditure.

Despite methodological differences between forecasting approaches, a common set of healthcare spending drivers can be identified. Demographic factors, rising incomes, technological progress, productivity in the healthcare sector compared to the general economy (Baumol’s cost disease) and associated healthcare policies have all been shown to be key determinants of healthcare spending.

 
JEL Classification:
  • C53: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Econometric Modeling / Forecasting and Prediction Methods ; Simulation Methods
  • H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Government Expenditures and Health
  • I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Government Policy ; Regulation ; Public Health
  • J11: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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The link between UHC reforms and health system governance.

 

 

Abstract:

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine how and to what extent the design and implementation of universal health coverage (UHC) reforms have been influenced by the governance arrangements of health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); and how governments in these countries have or have not responded to the challenges of governance for UHC.

 

Design/methodology/approach
Comparative case study analysis of three Asian countries with substantial experience of UHC reforms (Thailand, Vietnam and China) was undertaken using data from published studies and grey literature. Studies included were those which described the modifications and adaptations that occurred during design and implementation of the UHC programme, the actors and institutions involved and how these changes related to the governance of the health system.

 

Findings
Each country adapted the design of their UHC programmes to accommodate their specific institutional arrangements, and then made further modifications in response to issues arising during implementation. The authors found that these modifications were often related to the impacts on governance of the institutional changes inherent in UHC reforms. Governments varied in their response to these governance impacts, with Thailand prepared to adopt new governance modes (which the authors termed as an “adaptive” response), while China and Vietnam have tended to persist with traditional hierarchical governance modes (“reactive” responses).

 

Originality/value
This study addresses a gap in current knowledge on UHC reform, and finds evidence of a complex interaction between substantive health sector reform and governance reform in the LMIC context in Asia, confirming recent similar observations on health reforms in high-income countries.

 

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Complex systems model of evidence for public health

 

To date, the evidence underpinning responses to these challenges has largely been generated by tools and methods that were developed to answer questions about the effectiveness of clinical interventions, and as such are grounded in linear models of cause and effect. Identification, implementation, and evaluation of effective responses to major public health challenges require a wider set of approaches1,2 and a focus on complex systems.

The Health Foundation is working with Dr Harry Rutter from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to develop a new model of evidence that will inform public health research, policy and practice. As part of this work Dr Rutter and co-authors from the Health Foundation and around the world have published a new Viewpoint paper – The need for a complex systems model of evidence for public health – in The Lancet, which outlines the need for new approaches to designing and evaluating population-level interventions to improve health.

You can read the paper published in The Lancet (subscription access) or a publicly available version of the paper.

 

Source: http://www.health.org.uk/publication/need-complex-systems-model-evidence-public-health
Image source: http://freepik.com

 

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