PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (401274)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  End-user searching: impetus for an expanding information management and technology role for the hospital librarian. 
Using the results of the 1993 Medical Library Association (MLA) Hospital Libraries Section survey of hospital-based end-user search services, this article describes how end-user search services can become an impetus for an expanded information management and technology role for the hospital librarian. An end-user services implementation plan is presented that focuses on software, hardware, finances, policies, staff allocations and responsibilities, educational program design, and program evaluation. Possibilities for extending end-user search services into information technology and informatics, specialized end-user search systems, and Internet access are described. Future opportunities are identified for expanding the hospital librarian's role in the face of changing health care management, advances in information technology, and increasing end-user expectations.
PMCID: PMC226268  PMID: 9285126
2.  Utilization of the medical librarian in a state Medicaid program to provide information services geared to health policy and health disparities 
Objective: The role of two solo medical librarians in supporting Medicaid programs by functioning as information specialists at regional and state levels is examined.
Setting: A solo librarian for the Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) program and a solo librarian for the New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO) functioned as information specialists in context to support Medicaid policy development and clinical, administrative, and program staff for state Medicaid programs.
Brief Description: The librarian for MassHealth initially focused on acquiring library materials and providing research support on culturally competent health care and outreach, as part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care Standards. The NESCSO librarian focused on state Medicaid system issues surrounding the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The research focus expanded for both the librarians, shaping their roles to more directly support clinical and administrative policy development. Of note, the availability and dissemination of information to policy leaders facilitated efforts to reduce health disparities. In Massachusetts, this led to a state legislative special commission to eliminate health disparities, which released a report in November 2005. On a regional level, the NESCSO librarian provided opportunities for states in New England to share ideas and Medicaid program information. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare are working with NESCSO to explore the potential for using the NESCSO model for collaboration for other regions of the United States.
Results/Outcomes: With the increased attention on evidence-based health care and reduction of health disparities, medical librarians are called on to support a variety of health care information needs. Nationally, state Medicaid programs are being called on to provide coverage and make complex medical decisions regarding the delivery of benefits. Increasing numbers of beneficiaries and shrinking Medicaid budgets demand effective and proactive decision making to provide quality care and to accomplish the missions of state Medicaid programs. In this environment, the opportunities for information professionals to provide value and knowledge management are increasing.
PMCID: PMC1435841  PMID: 16636710
3.  Mental Health Costs and Access Under Alternative Capitation Systems in Colorado 
Health Services Research  2002;37(2):315-340.
Objective
To examine service cost and access for persons with severe mental illness under Medicaid mental health capitation payment in Colorado. Capitation contracts were made with two organizational models: community mental health centers (CMHCs) that manage and deliver services (direct capitation [DC]) and joint ventures between CMHCs and a for-profit managed care firm (managed behavioral health organization, [MBHO]) and compared to fee for service (F.F.S.).
Data Sources/Study Setting
Both primary and secondary data were collected for the year prior to the new financing policy and the following two years (1995–1998).
Study Design
A stratified random sample of 522 severely mentally ill subjects was selected from comparable geographic areas within the capitated and FFS regions of Colorado. Major variables include service cost, utilization, and access (probability of service use) derived from secondary claims data, subject reported access collected at six-month intervals, and baseline outcomes (symptoms, functioning, and quality of life).
Principal Findings
In comparison to the FFS area, cost per person was reduced in the capitated areas in each of the two years following implementation. By the end of year two, cost per person was reduced by two-thirds in the MBHO areas and by one-fifth in the DC areas. Reductions in access were found for both capitated areas, although reductions in utilization for those receiving service were found only in the MBHO model.
Conclusions
Medicaid mental health capitation in Colorado resulted in cost reducing service changes for persons with severe mental illness. Assessment of outcome change is necessary to identify cost effectiveness.
doi:10.1111/1475-6773.025
PMCID: PMC1430372  PMID: 12035996
Managed care; capitation; mental health
4.  Complementary competencies: public health and health sciences librarianship 
Objectives: The authors sought to identify opportunities for partnership between the communities of public health workers and health sciences librarians.
Methods: The authors review competencies in public health and health sciences librarianship. They highlight previously identified public health informatics competencies and the Medical Library Association's essential areas of knowledge. Based on points of correspondence between the two domains, the authors identify specific opportunities for partnership.
Results: The points of correspondence between public health and health sciences librarianship are reflected in several past projects involving both communities. These previous collaborations and the services provided by health sciences librarians at many public health organizations suggest that some health sciences librarians may be considered full members of the public health workforce. Opportunities remain for productive collaboration between public health workers and health sciences librarians.
Conclusions: Drawing on historical and contemporary experience, this paper presents an initial framework for forming collaborations between health sciences librarians and members of the public health workforce. This framework may stimulate thinking about how to form additional partnerships between members of these two communities.
PMCID: PMC1175799  PMID: 16059423
5.  Health in China. The healthcare market. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1997;314(7094):1616-1618.
It is now about 15 years since the introduction of the market into health care in China. This produced fundamental changes in the way that health care is financed and resulted in the disappearance of universal free basic health care. Responsibility for provision of health services has been devolved to the provincial and county governments, and healthcare providers have been given considerable financial independence. A fee for service system has been introduced, and several different payment mechanisms are now in operation. The new financing and pricing structures are responsible for greater inequity of access to services and more inefficient use of resources. These problems are widely acknowledged, and a range of solutions is being developed and tested. Since the introduction of the reforms the measurable health status of the population has not declined, probably as a result of overall improved socioeconomic conditions and a continued emphasis on prevention.
PMCID: PMC2126808  PMID: 9186178
6.  Primary and managed care. Ingredients for health care reform. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1994;161(1):78-82.
The use of primary and managed care is likely to increase under proposed federal health care reform. I review the definition of primary care and primary care physicians and show that this delivery model can affect access to medical care, the cost of treatment, and the quality of services. Because the use of primary care is often greater in managed care than in fee-for-service, I compare the two insurance systems to further understand the delivery of primary care. Research suggests that primary care can help meet the goal of providing accessible, cost-effective, and high-quality care, but that changes in medical education and marketplace incentives will be needed to encourage students and trained physicians to enter this field.
PMCID: PMC1011384  PMID: 7941522
7.  Public Finance Policy Strategies to Increase Access to Preconception Care 
Maternal and Child Health Journal  2006;10(Suppl 1):85-91.
Policy and finance barriers reduce access to preconception care and, reportedly, limit professional practice changes that would improve the availability of needed services. Millions of women of childbearing age (15–44) lack adequate health coverage (i.e., uninsured or underinsured), and others live in medically underserved areas. Service delivery fragmentation and lack of professional guidelines are additional barriers. This paper reviews barriers and opportunities for financing preconception care, based on a review and analysis of state and federal policies. We describe states’ experiences with and opportunities to improve health coverage, through public programs such as Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The potential role of Title V and of community health centers in providing primary and preventive care to women also is discussed. In these and other public health and health coverage programs, opportunities exist to finance preconception care for low-income women. Three major policy directions are discussed. To increase access to preconception care among women of childbearing age, the federal and state governments have opportunities to: (1) improve health care coverage, (2) increase the supply of publicly subsidized health clinics, and (3) direct delivery of preconception screening and interventions in the context of public health programs.
doi:10.1007/s10995-006-0125-8
PMCID: PMC1592251  PMID: 16802188
Finance; Policy; Maternal health; Infant health; Preconception; Medicaid; Title V; Family planning
8.  Reforming primary health care: is New Zealand's primary health care strategy achieving its early goals? 
Background
In 2001, the New Zealand government introduced its Primary Health Care Strategy (PHCS), aimed at strengthening the role of primary health care, in order to improve health and to reduce inequalities in health. As part of the Strategy, new funding was provided to reduce the fees that patients pay when they use primary health care services in New Zealand, to improve access to services and to increase service use. In this article, we estimate the impact of the new funding on general practitioner and practice nurse visit fees paid by patients and on consultation rates. The analyses involved before-and-after monitoring of fees and consultation rates in a random sample of 99 general practices and covered the period from June 2001 (pre-Strategy) to mid-2005.
Results
Fees fell particularly in Access (higher need, higher per capita funded) practices over time for doctor and nurse visits. Fees increased over time for many in Interim (lower need, lower per capita funded) practices, but they fell for patients aged 65 years and over as new funding was provided for this age group. There were increases in consultation rates across almost all age, funding model (Access or Interim), socio-demographic and ethnic groups. Increases were particularly high in Access practices.
Conclusion
The Strategy has resulted in lower fees for primary health care for many New Zealanders, and consultation rates have also increased over the past few years. However, fees have not fallen by as much as expected in government policy given the amount of extra public money spent since there are limited requirements for practices to reduce patients' fees in line with increases in public funding for primary care.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-5-24
PMCID: PMC2588611  PMID: 18990236
9.  The medical libraries of Vietnam--a service in transition. 
The medical libraries of Vietnam maintain high profiles within their institutions and are recognized by health care professionals and administrators as an important part of the health care system. Despite the multitude of problems in providing even a minimal level of medical library services, librarians, clinicians, and researchers nevertheless are determined that enhanced services be made available. Currently, services can be described as basic and unsophisticated, yet viable and surprisingly well organized. The lack of hard western currency required to buy materials and the lack of library technology will be major obstacles to improving information services. Vietnam, like many developing nations, is about to enter a period of technological upheaval, which ultimately will result in a transition from the traditional library limited by walls to a national resource that will rely increasingly on electronic access to international knowledge networks. Technology such as CD-ROM, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and satellite telecommunication networks such as Internet can provide the technical backbone to provide access to remote and widely distributed electronic databases to support the information needs of the health care community. Over the long term, access to such databases likely will be cost-effective, in contrast to the assuredly astronomical cost of building a comparable domestic print collection. The advent of new, low-cost electronic technologies probably will revolutionize health care information services in developing nations. However, for the immediate future, the medical libraries of Vietnam will require ongoing sustained support from the international community, so that minimal levels of resources will be available to support the information needs of the health care community. It is remarkable, and a credit to the determination of Vietnam's librarians that, in a country with a legacy of war, economic deprivation, and international isolation, they have somehow managed to provide a sound basic level of information services for health care professionals.
PMCID: PMC225670  PMID: 1525617
10.  Regulatory barriers to equity in a health system in transition: a qualitative study in Bulgaria 
Background
Health reforms in Bulgaria have introduced major changes to the financing, delivery and regulation of health care. As in many other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, these included introducing general practice, establishing a health insurance system, reorganizing hospital services, and setting up new payment mechanisms for providers, including patient co-payments. Our study explored perceptions of regulatory barriers to equity in Bulgarian child health services.
Methods
50 qualitative in-depth interviews with users, providers and policy-makers concerned with child health services in Bulgaria, conducted in two villages, one town of 70,000 inhabitants, and the capital Sofia.
Results
The participants in our study reported a variety of regulatory barriers which undermined the principles of equity and, as far as the health insurance system is concerned, solidarity. These included non-participation in the compulsory health insurance system, informal payments, and charging user fees to exempted patients. The participants also reported seemingly unnecessary treatments in the growing private sector. These regulatory failures were associated with the fast pace of reforms, lack of consultation, inadequate public financing of the health system, a perceived "commercialization" of medicine, and weak enforcement of legislation. A recurrent theme from the interviews was the need for better information about patient rights and services covered by the health insurance system.
Conclusions
Regulatory barriers to equity and compliance in daily practice deserve more attention from policy-makers when embarking on health reforms. New financing sources and an increasing role of the private sector need to be accompanied by an appropriate and enforceable regulatory framework to control the behavior of health care providers and ensure equity in access to health services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-219
PMCID: PMC3184627  PMID: 21923930
11.  Working on reform. How workers' compensation medical care is affected by health care reform. 
Public Health Reports  1996;111(1):12-25.
The medical component of workers' compensation programs-now costing over $24 billion annually-and the rest of the nation's medical care system are linked. They share the same patients and providers. They provide similar benefits and services. And they struggle over who should pay for what. Clearly, health care reform and restructuring will have a major impact on the operation and expenditures of the workers' compensation system. For a brief period, during the 1994 national health care reform debate, these two systems were part of the same federal policy development and legislative process. With comprehensive health care reform no longer on the horizon, states now are tackling both workers' compensation and medical system reforms on their own. This paper reviews the major issues federal and state policy makers face as they consider reforms affecting the relationship between workers' compensation and traditional health insurance. What is the relationship of the workers' compensation cost crisis to that in general health care? What strategies are being considered by states involved in reforming the medical component of workers compensation? What are the major policy implications of these strategies?
Images
PMCID: PMC1381735  PMID: 8610187
12.  The health sciences librarian in medical education: a vital pathways project task force 
Objectives:
The Medical Education Task Force of the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians reviewed current and future roles of health sciences librarians in medical education at the graduate and undergraduate levels and worked with national organizations to integrate library services, education, and staff into the requirements for training medical students and residents.
Methods:
Standards for medical education accreditation programs were studied, and a literature search was conducted on the topic of the role of the health sciences librarian in medical education.
Results:
Expectations for library and information services in current standards were documented, and a draft standard prepared. A comprehensive bibliography on the role of the health sciences librarian in medical education was completed, and an analysis of the services provided by health sciences librarians was created.
Conclusion:
An essential role and responsibility of the health sciences librarian will be to provide the health care professional with the skills needed to access, manage, and use library and information resources effectively. Validation and recognition of the health sciences librarian's contributions to medical education by accrediting agencies will be critical. The opportunity lies in health sciences librarians embracing the diverse roles that can be served in this vital activity, regardless of accrediting agency mandates.
doi:10.3163/1536-5050.97.4.012
PMCID: PMC2759163  PMID: 19851492
13.  Elderly Veterans Receiving Care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center While Enrolled in Medicare-Financed HMOs 
Elderly veterans who visit our Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center primary care clinic often mention they are enrolled in HMOs. Approximately 20% of patients hospitalized at our facility report health insurance coverage. Of 1,000 hospitalizations during a 6-month period in which veterans reported insurance coverage, 337 involved elderly veterans. Of these 337 hospitalizations, 218 (65%) were for 174 veterans who stated they were enrolled in a Medicare-financed HMO. The VA’s Medical Care Cost Recovery Program deemed only 46 (21%) of the hospitalizations billable and received reimbursement for 20 (9%). Thus, the VA is providing costly services already paid for by the Health Care Financing Administration under prepaid capitation contracts, and recovers minimal reimbursement from the HMOs.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1997.012004247.x
PMCID: PMC1497097  PMID: 9127230
veterans; elderly; Medicare; HMOs; health care financing
14.  Health Financing And Insurance Reform In Morocco 
Health affairs (Project Hope)  2007;26(4):1009-1016.
The government of Morocco approved two reforms in 2005 to expand health insurance coverage. The first is a payroll-based mandatory health insurance plan for public-and formal private–sector employees to extend coverage from the current 16 percent of the population to 30 percent. The second creates a publicly financed fund to cover services for the poor. Both reforms aim to improve access to high-quality care and reduce disparities in access and financing between income groups and between rural and urban dwellers. In this paper we analyze these reforms: the pre-reform debate, benefits covered, financing, administration, and oversight. We also examine prospects and future challenges for implementing the reforms.
doi:10.1377/hlthaff.26.4.1009
PMCID: PMC2898512  PMID: 17630444
15.  Integrating care by implementation of bundled payments: results from a national survey on the experience of Dutch dietitians 
Introduction
In the Netherlands, bundled payments were introduced as part of a strategy to redesign chronic care delivery. Under this strategy new entities of health care providers in primary care are negotiating with health insurers about the price for a bundle of services for several chronic conditions. This study evaluates the level of involvement of primary health care dietitians in these entities and the experienced advantages and disadvantages.
Methods
In August 2011, a random sample of 800 Dutch dietitians were invited by email to complete an online questionnaire (net response rate 34%).
Results
Two-thirds participated in a diabetes disease management programme, mostly for diabetes care, financed by bundled payments (n=130). Positive experiences of working in these programmes were an increase in: multidisciplinary collaboration (68%), efficiency of health care (40%) and transparency of health care quality (25%). Negative aspects were an increase in administrative tasks (61%), absence of payment for patients with comorbidity (38%) and concerns about substitution of care (32%).
Discussion/conclusion
Attention is needed for payment of patients with co- or multi-morbidity within the bundled fee. Substitution of dietary care by other disciplines needs to be further examined since it may negatively affect the quality of treatment. Task delegation and substitution of care may require other competencies from dietitians. Further development of coaching and negotiation skills may help dietitians prepare for the future.
PMCID: PMC3883179  PMID: 24399924
dietetics; primary care; disease management; bundled payment; payment reform; integrated care
16.  Integrating health sciences librarians into biomedicine. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) developed a model training program to prepare current and future health sciences librarians for roles that are integrated into the diverse fabric of the health care professions. As a complement to the traditional and theoretical aspects of a librarian's education, this mixture of supplemental coursework and intensive practical training emphasizes active management of information, problem-solving skills, learning in context, and direct participation in research, while providing the opportunity for advanced academic pursuits. The practical training will take place under the auspices of an established Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) library that is fully integrated with the Health Center Information Management Unit and Academic Biomedical Informatics Unit. During the planning phase, investigators are analyzing the model's aims and requirements, concentrating on (a) refining the current understanding of the roles health sciences librarians occupy; (b) developing educational strategies that prepare librarians to fulfill expanded roles; and (c) planning for an evaluation process that will support iterative revision and refinement of the model.
PMCID: PMC226193  PMID: 8913556
17.  Restructuring Primary Health Care Markets in New Zealand: from Welfare Benefits to Insurance Markets 
Background
New Zealand's Primary Health Care Strategy (NZPHCS) was introduced in 2002. Its features are substantial increases in government funding delivered as capitation payments, and newly-created service-purchasing agencies. The objectives are to reduce health disparities and to improve health outcomes.
Analysis
The NZPHCS changes New Zealand's publicly-funded primary health care payments from targeted welfare benefits to universal, risk-rated insurance premium subsidies. Patient contributions change from fee-for-service top-ups to insurance premium top-ups, and are collected by service providers who, depending upon their contracts with purchasers, may also be either insurance agents or risk-bearing insurance companies. The change invokes the tensions associated with allocating risk-bearing amongst providers, patients and insurance companies that accompany all insurance-based funding instruments. These include increases in existing incentives for over-consumption and new incentives for insurers to limit their exposure to variations in patient health states by engaging in active patient pool selection.
The New Zealand scheme is complex, but closely resembles United States insurance-based, risk-rated managed care schemes. The key difference is that unlike classic managed care models, where provider remuneration is determined by the insurer, the historic right for general practitioners to autonomously set patient charges alters the fiscal incentives normally available to managed care organisations. Consequently, the insurance role is being devolved to individual service providers with very small patient pools, who must recoup the premium top-ups from insured individuals. Premium top-ups are being collected only from those individuals consuming care, in proportion to the number of times care is sought. Co-payments thus constitute perfectly risk-rated premium levies set by inefficiently small insurers, raising questions about the efficiency and equity of a 'universal' insurance system pooling total population demands and costs. The efficacy of using financial incentives to constrain costs and encourage innovation when providers retain the right to arbitrarily recoup costs directly from patients, is also questioned.
Results
Initial evidence suggests that total costs are higher than initially expected, and prices to some patients have risen substantially under the NZPHCS. Limited competition and NZPHCS governance requirements mean current institutional arrangements are unlikely to facilitate efficiency improvements. System design changes therefore appear indicated.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-20
PMCID: PMC1224852  PMID: 16144544
18.  Capitation and enhanced fee-for-service models for primary care reform: a population-based evaluation 
Background
Primary care reform in Ontario, Canada, included the initiation of a blended capitation model in 2001–2002 and an enhanced fee-for-service model in 2003. Both models involve patient rostering, incentives for preventive care and requirements for after-hours care. We evaluated practice characteristics and patterns of care under both models.
Methods
Using administrative data, we identified physicians belonging to either the capitation or the enhanced fee-for-service group throughout the period from Sept. 1, 2005, to Aug. 31, 2006, and their enrolled patients. Practices were stratified by location (urban v. rural). We compared the groups in terms of practice characteristics and patterns of care, including comprehensiveness of care, continuity of care, after-hours care, visits to the emergency department and uptake of new patients.
Results
Patients in the capitation and enhanced fee-for-service practices had similar demographic characteristics. Patients in capitation practices had lower morbidity and comorbidity indices. Comprehensiveness and continuity of care were similar between the 2 groups. Compared with patients in enhanced fee-for-service practices, those in capitation practices had less after-hours care (adjusted rate ratio [RR] 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.75) and more visits to emergency departments (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.15–1.25). Overall, physicians in the capitation group enrolled fewer new patients than did physicians in the enhanced fee-for-service group (37.0 v. 52.0 per physician); the same was true of new graduates (60.3 v. 72.1 per physician).
Interpretation
Physicians enrolled in the capitation model had different practice characteristics than those in the enhanced fee-for-service model. These characteristics appeared to be pre-existing and not due to enrolment in a new model. Although the capitation model provides an alternative to fee-for-service practice, its characteristics should be the focus of future policy development and research.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.081316
PMCID: PMC2683211  PMID: 19468106
19.  Fundamental Reform of Payment for Adult Primary Care: Comprehensive Payment for Comprehensive Care 
Primary care is essential to the effective and efficient functioning of health care delivery systems, yet there is an impending crisis in the field due in part to a dysfunctional payment system. We present a fundamentally new model of payment for primary care, replacing encounter-based imbursement with comprehensive payment for comprehensive care. Unlike former iterations of primary care capitation (which simply bundled inadequate fee-for-service payments), our comprehensive payment model represents new investment in adult primary care, with substantial increases in payment over current levels. The comprehensive payment is directed to practices to include support for the modern systems and teams essential to the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated care. Income to primary physicians is increased commensurate with the high level of responsibility expected. To ensure optimal allocation of resources and the rewarding of desired outcomes, the comprehensive payment is needs/risk-adjusted and performance-based. Our model establishes a new social contract with the primary care community, substantially increasing payment in return for achieving important societal health system goals, including improved accessibility, quality, safety, and efficiency. Attainment of these goals should help offset and justify the costs of the investment. Field tests of this and other new models of payment for primary care are urgently needed.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0083-2
PMCID: PMC1824766  PMID: 17356977
primary care; comprehensive payment; capitation; resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS); compensation
20.  Fundamental Reform of Payment for Adult Primary Care: Comprehensive Payment for Comprehensive Care 
Primary care is essential to the effective and efficient functioning of health care delivery systems, yet there is an impending crisis in the field due in part to a dysfunctional payment system. We present a fundamentally new model of payment for primary care, replacing encounter-based imbursement with comprehensive payment for comprehensive care. Unlike former iterations of primary care capitation (which simply bundled inadequate fee-for-service payments), our comprehensive payment model represents new investment in adult primary care, with substantial increases in payment over current levels. The comprehensive payment is directed to practices to include support for the modern systems and teams essential to the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated care. Income to primary physicians is increased commensurate with the high level of responsibility expected. To ensure optimal allocation of resources and the rewarding of desired outcomes, the comprehensive payment is needs/risk-adjusted and performance-based. Our model establishes a new social contract with the primary care community, substantially increasing payment in return for achieving important societal health system goals, including improved accessibility, quality, safety, and efficiency. Attainment of these goals should help offset and justify the costs of the investment. Field tests of this and other new models of payment for primary care are urgently needed.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0083-2
PMCID: PMC1824766  PMID: 17356977
primary care; comprehensive payment; capitation; resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS); compensation
21.  Paying general practitioners: shedding light on the review of health services. 
This paper reviews evidence from recent research on the effects of different methods of remunerating general practitioners. Each method is examined in terms of patient use of health services in general, use of services by different groups in society and health outcome. Little is known about the effects of capitation as it currently exists in the UK, salaries or special payments for 'good practice', although evidence from British research is likely to be forthcoming on the last of these. Both health maintenance organizations and charges deter utilization, although little is known about the effect of this reduced demand. Furthermore, these two methods of financing health care appear to discriminate between members of society on lower and higher incomes in terms of both service use and health outcome. Fees for items of service provided tend to lead to unnecessary demands for fee yielding services by patients on the recommendation of their doctors. Although more evidence on different methods of remuneration is required, the importance of what is already known depends on the objectives of health care provision.
PMCID: PMC1711771  PMID: 2555489
22.  The Return of Two-Class Medicine—III Effects of Medi-Cal Reform 
Western Journal of Medicine  1985;142(5):708-709.
California's drastic Medi-Cal reforms have created great difficulties in health care for the poor. Patients' clinical problems seldom are apparent in descriptions of changes in public insurance programs. Rapidly escalating costs of Medi-Cal led to irresistible pressures for reform, especially from the business community. The new Medi-Cal regulations provide for prospective contracts with hospitals for inpatient services, the transfer of “Medically Indigent Adults” to the responsibility of county governments and various other straightforward funding cutbacks. Confusion, disruption of services and adverse health outcomes have accompanied the Medi-Cal reforms.
PMCID: PMC1306167  PMID: 3892917
23.  Equity in health care financing: The case of Malaysia 
Background
Equitable financing is a key objective of health care systems. Its importance is evidenced in policy documents, policy statements, the work of health economists and policy analysts. The conventional categorisations of finance sources for health care are taxation, social health insurance, private health insurance and out-of-pocket payments. There are nonetheless increasing variations in the finance sources used to fund health care. An understanding of the equity implications would help policy makers in achieving equitable financing.
Objective
The primary purpose of this paper was to comprehensively assess the equity of health care financing in Malaysia, which represents a new country context for the quantitative techniques used. The paper evaluated each of the five financing sources (direct taxes, indirect taxes, contributions to Employee Provident Fund and Social Security Organization, private insurance and out-of-pocket payments) independently, and subsequently by combined the financing sources to evaluate the whole financing system.
Methods
Cross-sectional analyses were performed on the Household Expenditure Survey Malaysia 1998/99, using Stata statistical software package. In order to assess inequality, progressivity of each finance sources and the whole financing system was measured by Kakwani's progressivity index.
Results
Results showed that Malaysia's predominantly tax-financed system was slightly progressive with a Kakwani's progressivity index of 0.186. The net progressive effect was produced by four progressive finance sources (in the decreasing order of direct taxes, private insurance premiums, out-of-pocket payments, contributions to EPF and SOCSO) and a regressive finance source (indirect taxes).
Conclusion
Malaysia's two tier health system, of a heavily subsidised public sector and a user charged private sector, has produced a progressive health financing system. The case of Malaysia exemplifies that policy makers can gain an in depth understanding of the equity impact, in order to help shape health financing strategies for the nation.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-7-15
PMCID: PMC2467419  PMID: 18541025
24.  Guideposts to the Future—An Agenda for Nursing Informatics 
As new directions and priorities emerge in health care, nursing informatics leaders must prepare to guide the profession appropriately. To use an analogy, where a road bends or changes directions, guideposts indicate how drivers can stay on course. The AMIA Nursing Informatics Working Group (NIWG) produced this white paper as the product of a meeting convened: 1) to describe anticipated nationwide changes in demographics, health care quality, and health care informatics; 2) to assess the potential impact of genomic medicine and of new threats to society; 3) to align AMIA NIWG resources with emerging priorities; and 4) to identify guideposts in the form of an agenda to keep the NIWG on course in light of new opportunities. The anticipated societal changes provide opportunities for nursing informatics. Resources described below within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Committee for Health and Vital Statistics (NCVHS) can help to align AMIA NIWG with emerging priorities. The guideposts consist of priority areas for action in informatics, nursing education, and research. Nursing informatics professionals will collaborate as full participants in local, national, and international efforts related to the guideposts in order to make significant contributions that empower patients and providers for safer health care.
doi:10.1197/jamia.M1996
PMCID: PMC2215078  PMID: 17068358
25.  New evidence on financing equity in China's health care reform - A case study on Gansu province, China 
Background
In the transition from a planned economy to a market-oriented economy, China’s state funding for health care declined and traditional coverage plans collapsed, leaving China’s poor exposed to potentially ruinous health care costs. In reforming health care for the 21st century, equity in health care financing has become a major policy goal. To assess progress towards this goal, this paper examines the equity characteristics of health care financing in a province of northwestern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas at two different points in time.
Methods
Analysis of whether health care financing contributions were progressive according to income were made using the Kakwani index for each of the four health care financing channels of general taxes, public and private health insurance, and out-of-pocket payments. Two rounds of surveys were conducted, the first in 2003 (13,619 individuals in 3946 households) and the second in 2008 (12,973 individuals in 3958 households). Household socio-economic, health care payment, and utilization information were recorded in household interviews.
Results
Low-income households have undertaken a larger share of the health care financing burden in recent years, reflected by negative Kakwani indices, which indicate a regressive system. We found that the indices for general taxation were −0.0024 (urban) and −0.0281 (rural) in 2002, and −0.0177 (urban) and −0.0097 (rural) in 2007. Public health insurance presented different financing distributions in urban and rural areas (urban: 0.0742 in 2002, 0.0661 in 2007; rural: –0.0615 in 2002,–0.1436 in 2007.). Out-of-pocket payments were progressive but not equitable. Public health insurance coverage has expanded but financing equity has decreased.
Conclusions
Health care financing policies in China need ongoing reform. Given the inequity of general consumption taxes, elimination of these would improve financing equity considerably. Optimizing benefit packages in public health insurance is as important as expanding coverage, both for health care financing and for utilization management as well. Although they are progressive, out-of-pocket payments are not equitable in China and have the effect of excluding the poor from health care as they cannot afford to pay for medical care and so withdraw from treatment.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-466
PMCID: PMC3562140  PMID: 23244513
Equity; Chinese health care reform; Financing; Kakwani index

Results 1-25 (401274)