Over the past decade, many OECD countries have introduced new policies to tackle excessive waiting times for elective treatments with some success. However, in the wake of the recent economic downturn and severe pressures on public budgets, waiting times may rise again, and it is important to understand which policies work.
How health providers are paid is one of the key policy levers that countries have to drive health system performance. The 2012 HSC Survey analyses the payment modes currently in use in OECD countries to remunerate primary care, outpatient specialist care and inpatient care, the price regulations for health services and identifies new innovative modes of payments in more detail.
Payers for health care are pursuing a variety of policies as part of broader efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care. Payment reform is but one policy tool to improve health system performance that requires supportive measures in place such as policies with well-developed stakeholder involvement, information on quality, clear criteria for tariff setting, and embedding evaluation as part of the policy process. Countries should not, however, underestimate the significant data challenges when looking at price setting processes. Data access and ways to overcome its fragmentation require well-developed infrastructures. Policy efforts highlight a trend towards aligning payer and provider incentives by using evidence-based clinical guidelines and outcomes to inform price setting. There are signs of increasing policy focus on outcomes to inform price setting. These efforts could bring about system-wide effects of using evidence along with a patient-centred focus to improve health care delivery and performance in the long-run.
The OECD Health Division organised a workshop to discuss changes in skill mix and scope of practice of health workers on 27 June 2016. Its main purpose was to promote meaningful exchanges of experiences across OECD countries in re-configuring the traditional roles and responsibilities of different categories of health workers to achieve a more efficient use of human resources.
At the OECD, we have calculated that about 50% of all the antimicrobials prescribed by healthcare facilities in our member countries do not meet prescription guidelines. In healthcare services such as long-term care facilities and general practices up to 70% and 90% respectively of antibiotics may be prescribed for inappropriate reasons.
Si nous n’agissons pas, la pollution de l’air extérieur pourrait entraîner 6 à 9 millions de décès prématurés d’ici 2060 et coûter 1 % du PIB mondial – soit quelque 2 600 milliards USD par an – du fait des jours de congé de maladie, des frais médicaux et de la réduction de la production agricole, selon un nouveau rapport de l’OCDE.
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Hungary ranks among the OECD countries with the highest rates of obesity, harmful alcohol use and tobacco smoking. These are leading behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Hungary has implemented a public health tax and tight policies on alcohol consumption, but alcohol taxation is mild and unrecorded alcohol and tobacco consumption are significant.
This paper looks at recent trends in pharmaceutical spending across OECD countries. It examines the drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes, and then looks at emerging challenges for policy makers in the management of pharmaceutical spending.
“Mental health issues exact a high price on individuals, their families, employers and the economy,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, “Policymakers have been too slow to act. Strong political leadership is needed to drive reform and tackle this issue.”
Expenditure by disease data based on national health accounts can provide valuable information for use in policy analysis. In order to move further in this important area, it is necessary both to refine the definitions and approach that is followed, but also to demonstrate that such accounts can be developed in a cost-effective manner under the framework of the System of Health Accounts.