Workers' compensation law in the United States is derived from European models of social insurance introduced in Germany and in England. These two concepts of workers' compensation are found today in the federal and state workers' compensation programs in the United States. All reform proposals in the United States are influenced by the European experience with workers' compensation. In 2006, a reform proposal termed the Public Health Model was made that would abolish the workers' compensation system, and in its place adopt a national disability insurance system for all injuries and illnesses. In the public health model, health and safety professionals would work primarily in public health agencies. The public health model eliminates the physician from any role other than that of privately consulting with the patient and offering advice solely to the patient. The Public Health Model is strongly influenced by the European success with physician consultation with industry and labor.
European workers' compensation; public health; physician consultation; reform; workers' compensation
The functions of the health system, according to the key objectives and relationships within the sub-systems that are available to the policy makers and managers in the Health Care system in Bosnia and Herzegovina – B&H, have been elaborated in detail, with the analytical overview of relevant indicators, thus confirming the limitations of the health promotion in B&H. The ability to overcome the expressed problems is in the startup of process for structural adjustment of the health sector, reform of the health care system and its financing. The reform in health system implies fundamental changes that need to take place, in B&H, as a state in health policy and institutions in the health care system, in order to improve the functioning of health systems with the aim of ensuring better health of the population. Reform implies the existence of documents with clearly formulated health policy objectives, for which the state stands, and for which a consensus was reached on the national level with all key actors in the political structure: public promotion of the basic principles for carrying out the reform, its implementation within a reasonable time frame, the corresponding effects for providers and customer satisfaction, as well as improving health services’ efficacy (i.e. micro and macro) and the quality of healthcare. In this article, we elaborated the criteria for the classification of health systems, whereby the scientifically-based and empirical analysis is conducted on the health system in B&H and elaborated the key levers of the system. Leveraged organizational arrangements relating to the economic and political environment, organization and management functions, in connection with the services of finance, funds, customers and service providers, from which it follows the framework of state legislation related to health policy and health institutions at the state level are responsible for finance, planning, the organization, payment, regulation and conduct. If we start from the administrative criteria for the classification of “health sub-systems” in B&H, it is difficult to fit them in a pluralistic, decentralized or monistic, because in the system for each organization, there should be health policy at the state level, which is in the most countries represents the Ministry of Health.
Health Insurance Fund of the Tuzla Canton; Services of finance; payment of health services.
Within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or health care reform, is a relatively small provision about concurrent curative care that significantly affects terminally ill children. Effective on March 23, 2010, terminally ill children, who are enrolled in a Medicaid or state Children’s Health Insurance Plans (CHIP) hospice benefit, may concurrently receive curative care related to their terminal health condition. The purpose of this article was to conduct a policy analysis of the concurrent curative care legislation by examining the intended goals of the policy to improve access to care and enhance quality of end of life care for terminally ill children. In addition, the policy analysis explored the political feasibility of implementing concurrent curative care at the state-level. Based on this policy analysis, the federal policy of concurrent curative care for children would generally achieve its intended goals. However, important policy omissions focus attention on the need for further federal end of life care legislation for children. These findings have implications nurses.
concurrent curative care; policy analysis; health care reform; end of life care; children
AIM: To compare the opinions and recommendations of imaging specialists from United States (USA) and non-USA developed nations for USA health care reform.
METHODS: A survey was emailed out to 18 imaging specialists from 17 non-USA developed nation countries and 14 radiologists within the USA regarding health care reform. The questionnaire contained the following questions: what are the strengths of your health care system, what problems are present in your nation’s health care system, and what recommendations do you have for health care reform in the USA. USA and non-USA radiologists received the same questionnaire.
RESULTS: Strengths of the USA health care system include high quality care, autonomy, and access to timely care. Twelve of 14 (86%) USA radiologists identified medicolegal action as a major problem in their health care system and felt that medicolegal reform was a critical aspect of health care reform. None of the non-USA radiologists identified medicolegal aspects as a problem in their own country nor identified it as a subject for USA health care reform. Eleven of 14 (79%) USA radiologists and 16/18 (89%) non-USA radiologists identified universal health care coverage as an important recommendation for reform.
CONCLUSION: Without full universal coverage, meaningful health care reform will likely require medicolegal reform as an early and important aspect of improved and efficient health care.
Health care reform; Health care policy
Democrats and Republicans have turned to the concept of “high-risk pools” to provide health care for those Americans who face the dual challenge of uninsurance and serious health difficulties. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), these “high-risk” individuals will receive extensive help and regulatory protections, in concert with a new system of health insurance exchanges. However, these federal provisions do not become operational until 2014. As an interim measure, PPACA provides $5 billion for temporary, federally funded high-risk pools, now known as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). This analysis explores the adequacy of such funding. Using 2005/06 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we find that approximately 4 million uninsured Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema, diabetes, stroke, cancer, congestive heart failure, angina, or a heart attack. To provide adequate health care for uninsured individuals with chronic diseases, the federal PCIP appropriations would need to be many times higher than either Democrats or Republicans have proposed.
high risk pools; insurance; health reform; patient protection and affordable care act
The introduction of new policies in health and social services in Britain has changed the way community care is provided to seriously mentally ill people. Britain is creating the same problems that have existed in the United States, whereby clinicians struggle to provide services in an environment with multiple payers and perverse incentives. A simple system in Britain has been replaced with complicated organisational and financial structures that require almost impossible feats by local health and social service staff to coordinate care for patients for whom continuity of care is critical for their survival in the community and their wellbeing. Seriously mentally ill people are in the middle of these complicated problems. The creation of a local mental health authority that could be held responsible for community care, as exists in some American states, may be one solution.
Recent reform in the National Health Service has moved general practice towards a more intense market and competition structure. Meanwhile in the United States of America there has been an attempt to modify the free enterprise approach to medical care towards a more socially responsive system. This discussion paper provides a family doctor's perspective of primary care and the maelstrom of health care reform in the USA. The cultural, economic and organizational issues underlying the need for reform are considered in turn, and the current situation with regard to health care provision, medical research, medical education and primary care are outlined. General practitioners in the United Kingdom would do well to pay attention to the effects of market reform occurring in general practice among their American counterparts.
To explore whether market reforms in a health care system affect medical professional ethics of hospital-based specialists on the one hand and physicians in independent practices on the other. Qualitative interviews with 27 surgeons and 28 general practitioners in The Netherlands, held 2–3 years after a major overhaul of the Dutch health care system involving several market reforms. Surgeons now regularly advertise their work (while this was forbidden in the past) and pay more attention to patients with relatively minor afflictions, thus deviating from codes of ethics that oblige physicians to treat each other as brothers and to treat patients according to medical need. Dutch GPs have abandoned their traditional reticence and their fear of medicalization. They now seem to treat more in accordance with patients’ preferences and less in accordance with medical need. Market reforms do affect medical professional principles, and it is doubtful whether these changes were intended when Dutch policy makers decided to introduce market elements in the health care system. Policy makers in other countries considering similar reforms should pay attention to these results.
Medical professional ethics; Market reforms; Surgeons; General practitioners
To analyze the effects of health reform efforts in two large states—New York and Massachusetts.
Data Sources/Study Setting
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 1999 to 2008.
We take advantage of the “natural experiments” that occurred in New York and Massachusetts to compare health insurance coverage and health care access and use for adults before and after the implementation of the health policy changes. To control for underlying trends not related to the reform initiatives, we subtract changes in the outcomes over the same time period for comparison groups of adults who were not affected by the policy changes using a differences-in-differences framework. The analyses are conducted using multiple comparison groups and different time periods as a check on the robustness of the findings.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Nonelderly adults ages 19–64 in the NHIS.
We find evidence of the success of the initiatives in New York and Massachusetts at expanding insurance coverage, with the greatest gains reported by the initiative that was broadest in scope—the Massachusetts push toward universal coverage. There is no evidence of improvements in access to care in New York, reflecting the small gains in coverage under that state's reform effort and the narrow focus of the initiative. In contrast, there were significant gains in access to care in Massachusetts, where the impact on insurance coverage was greater and a more comprehensive set of reforms were implemented to improve access to a full array of health care services. The estimated gains in coverage and access to care reported here for Massachusetts were achieved in the early period under health reform, before the state's reform initiative was fully implemented.
Comprehensive reform initiatives are more successful at addressing gaps in coverage and access to care than are narrower efforts, highlighting the potential gains under national health reform. Tracking the implications of national health reform will be challenging, as sample sizes and content in existing national surveys are not currently sufficient for in-depth evaluations of the impacts of reform within many states.
Health reform; uninsurance; public coverage; employer-sponsored insurance coverage; crowd-out; health care access and use
Rather than improving efficiency, the reforms imposed on the NHS have increased bureaucracy, reduced patient choice, limited the range of core services, and led to inequity of treatment. In this paper I examine how the medical profession might help to solve these problems. Priorities must be set for health care since no government can afford all the possibilities offered by medical science. It is essential to forge a consensus of patients, carers, professionals, the public, and government if a system of priorities is to be equitable and just. We also need to be able to measure quality of outcome in health care. This requires consensus on what is the desired outcome and the development of appropriate guidelines, audit, and performance review. This is primarily a task for the health professions supported by management and by adequate investment. Basically, the government must reinstate the three traditional values of the NHS--equity, consensus, and regard for representative professional advice.
China’s healthcare system is experiencing significant growth from expanded government-backed insurance, greater public-sector spending on hospitals, and the introduction of private insurance and for-profit clinics. An incremental reform process has sought to develop market incentives for medical innovation and liberalize physician compensation and hospital finance while continuing to keep basic care affordable to a large population that pays for many components of care out-of-pocket. Additional changes presently under consideration by policymakers are likely to further restructure insurance and the delivery of care and will alter competitive dynamics in major healthcare industries, notably pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostic testing. This article describes the institutional history of China’s healthcare system and identifies dilemmas emerging as the country negotiates divisions between public and private in healthcare. Building on this analysis, the article considers opportunities for public-private partnerships and greater systems integration to reconcile otherwise incommensurable approaches to rewarding innovation and improving access. The article concludes with observations on the public function of health insurance and its significance to further development of China’s healthcare system.
China; Healthcare reform; Clinical trials; Electronic medical records; Insurance; Pharmaceuticals
The government of China promulgated new medical care reform policies in March 2009. After that, provincial-level governments launched new medical care reform which focusing on local comprehensive medical care reform (LCMR). Anhui Province is an example of an area affected by LCMR, in which the LCMR was started in October 2009 and implemented in June 2010. The objective of this study was to compare the job satisfaction (JS) of community health workers (CHWs) before and after the reform in Anhui Province.
A baseline survey was carried out among 813 community health workers (CHWs) of 57 community health centers (CHCs) (response rate: 94.1%) and an effect evaluation survey among 536 CHWs of 30 CHCs (response rate: 92.3%) in 2009 and 2012 respectively. A self-completion questionnaire was used to assess the JS of the CHWs (by the job satisfaction scale, JSS).
The average scores of total JS and satisfaction with pay, contingent rewards, operating procedures and communication in the effect evaluation survey were statistically significantly higher than those of the baseline survey (P<0.05). The average score of satisfaction with promotion (2.55±1.008) in the effect evaluation survey was statistically significantly lower than that in the baseline survey (2.71±0.730) (P=0.002). In both surveys, the average scores of satisfaction with pay, benefits and promotion were statistically significantly lower than the others (all P<0.05).
After two years’ implementation of the LCMR, CHWs’ total JS have a small improvement. However, CHWs have lower satisfaction in the dimensions of pay, promotion and benefits dimensions before and after the LCMR. Therefore, policy-makers should take corresponding measures to raise work reward of CHWs and pay more attention to CHWs’ professional development to further increase their JS.
Despite the political and economic reforms that have swept Eastern Europe in the past 5 years, there has been little change in Poland's health care system. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has targeted preventive care as a priority, yet the enactment of legislation to meet this goal has been slow. The process of reform has been hindered by political stagnation, economic crisis, and a lack of delineation of responsibility for implementing the reforms. Despite the delays in reform, recent developments indicate that a realistic, sustainable restructuring of the health care system is possible, with a focus on preventive services. Recent proposals for change have centered on applying national goals to limited geographic areas, with both local and international support. Regional pilot projects to restructure health care delivery at a community level, local health education and disease prevention initiatives, and a national training program for primary care and family physicians and nurses are being planned. Through regionalization, an increase in responsibility for both the physician and the patient, and redefinition of primary health care and the role of family physicians, isolated local movements and pilot projects have shown promise in achieving these goals, even under the current budgetary constraints.
Amidst an evolving post-apartheid policy framework for health, policymakers have sought to institutionalize community participation in Primary Health Care, recognizing participation as integral to realizing South Africa’s constitutional commitment to the right to health. With evolving South African legislation supporting community involvement in the health system, early policy developments focused on Community Health Committees (HCs) as the principal institutions of community participation. Formally recognized in the National Health Act of 2003, the National Health Act deferred to provincial governments in establishing the specific roles and functions of HCs. As a result, stakeholders developed a Draft Policy Framework for Community Participation in Health (Draft Policy) to formalize participatory institutions in the Western Cape province.
With the Draft Policy as a frame of analysis, the researchers conducted documentary policy analysis and semi-structured interviews on the evolution of South African community participation policy. Moving beyond the specific and unique circumstances of the Western Cape, this study analyzes generalizable themes for rights-based community participation in the health system.
Framing institutions for the establishment, appointment, and functioning of community participation, the Draft Policy proposed a formal network of communication – from local HCs to the health system. However, this participation structure has struggled to establish itself and function effectively as a result of limitations in community representation, administrative support, capacity building, and policy commitment. Without legislative support for community participation, the enactment of superseding legislation is likely to bring an end to HC structures in the Western Cape.
Attempts to realize community participation have not adequately addressed the underlying factors crucial to promoting effective participation, with policy reforms necessary: to codify clearly defined roles and functions of community representation; to outline how communities engage with government through effective and accountable channels for participation; and to ensure extensive training and capacity building of community representatives. Given the public health importance of structured and effective policies for community participation, and the normative importance of participation in realizing a rights-based approach to health, this analysis informs researchers on the challenges to institutionalizing participation in health systems policy and provides practitioners with a research base to frame future policy reforms.
Participation; Rights-based policy; Community health committees; South Africa
The crisis of medical liability has resulted in drastic increases in insurance premiums and reduced access for patients to specialty care, particularly in areas such as obstetrics/gynecology, neurosurgery, and orthopaedic surgery. The current liability environment neither effectively compensates persons injured from medical negligence nor encourages addressing system errors to improve patient safety. The author reviews trends across the nation and reports on the efforts of an organization called “Doctors for Medical Liability Reform” to educate the public and lawmakers on the need for solutions to the chaotic process of adjudicating medical malpractice claims in the United States.
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.
Little is known about African-American physicians' health system experience or their opinions on health reform. In an attempt to obtain socioculturally relevant data quantifying these experiences and opinions, the National Medical Association administered a 38-question, 80-item survey instrument in August 1993. The questionnaire was completed by 236 physicians. The results indicate that African-American physicians feel health care is a right and that the health system needs fundamental change. Although there was no consensus on the type of health reform needed, approximately 35% cited availability and access to care to be the greatest problem facing the system with high costs of care (18.2%) ranking second. Unique findings in the survey indicated respondents felt that the needs and concerns of most African Americans will not be fairly addressed in the reform of the health-care system, that African-African physicians are not included in the formation of health-care policies, and that African-American physicians are facing high levels of professional and healthcare system racial discrimination. More than 99% of African-American physicians reported some degree of racial discrimination in the practice of medicine including peer review, obtaining practice privileges at hospitals, hospital staff promotions, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, malpractice suits, private insurance oversight and reimbursements, and referral practices of white colleagues. These findings have profound health policy, health financing, and health service delivery implications and should be included in debates and deliberations on health reform.
The Quebec health care system, founded in 1970 as a public, single payer, state run system had by 2004 reached a turning point. Rising costs, working in silos, difficulty accessing physicians, increased waiting time for diagnostic imaging and surgical intervention led policy makers and politicians to propose a new model for the organisation and delivery of care.
Based on populational responsibility and the clear distinction between a community primary care and specialised services a new model was proposed to develop integrated health networks. The 7.2 million population of Quebec was divided into 95 territories. 95 Health and social service centres were created by merging a community hospital, rehab centre, long-term care centres, home care and primary care services into a single institution with a new CEO and board of directors. These new networks received the mandate to manage the health and well being of their population, to manage the utilisation of services by their population and to manage all primary care services on their territory.
The implementation of a chronic care model, the development of primary care multidisciplinary teams, empowering the population and performance management, are the key elements of Montreal's vision in implementing the Reform.
After three years of operation the results are promising.
chronic care model; integrated health care networks; Canada
In the last decade the US federal government proposed a transformation vision of mental health service delivery; patient-centered, evidence-based and recovery oriented treatment models. Health care reform brings additional expectations for innovation in mental/substance use service delivery, particularly the idea of creating systems where physical health, mental health and substance use treatment is fully integrated. Psychiatric nurses, as one of the four core US mental health professions, have the potential to play a significant role in the both the transformation initiative and health care reform vision. However, psychiatric nurses, particularly advanced practice psychiatric nurses, are an untapped resource due in part to significant state regulatory barriers that limit their scope of practice in many states. The purpose of this paper is to document what is currently known about advanced practice psychiatric nurses and discuss policy implications for tapping into the strengths of this workforce. Strategies for facilitating utilization of advanced practice psychiatric nurses discussed.
advanced nursing practice; nursing/health care workforce issues; health care quality
Pakistan is a struggling economy with poor maternal and child health indicators that have affected attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (under-five child and maternal mortality). Recent health reforms have abolished the federal Ministry of Health and devolved administrative and financial powers to the provinces. Ideally, devolution tends to simplify a healthcare system's management structure and ensure more efficient delivery of health services to underserved populations, in this case women and children. In this time of transition, it is appropriate to outline prerequisites for the efficient management of maternal and child health (MCH) services.
This paper examines the six building blocks of health systems in order to improve the utilization of MCH services in rural Pakistan. The targeted outcomes of recent reforms are devolved participatory decision-making regarding distribution of MCH-related services, improved deployment of the healthcare workforce, prioritization of pro-poor strategies for health financing and integration of various health information systems. Given this window of opportunity, the provinces need to guarantee fairness and equity through their stewardship of the healthcare system so as to protect vulnerable mothers and their children, especially in rural, remote and disadvantaged areas of Pakistan.
OBJECTIVE: To determine primary care physicians' perceptions of their role in a reformed health system. DESIGN: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews. SETTING: Province of Nova Scotia. PARTICIPANTS: Purposefully selected sample of 14 practising primary care physicians. MAIN OUTCOME FINDINGS: Participants identified seven aspects of their role: primarily, diagnosis and treatment of patient's medical problems; then coordination, counseling, education, advocacy, disease prevention, and gatekeeping. The range of activities and degree of responsibility assumed by participants, however, varied. Factors affecting role perception fell into three categories: philosophical view of health and medicine, willingness to collaborate, and practical realities. Participants differed in their understanding of primary health care and their overall vision of the health system. Remuneration policies and concerns about sharing accountability were factors preventing an integrated, collaborative approach to care. Personal, patient, and structural realities also limited physicians' roles. CONCLUSIONS: This sample of primary care physicians had diverse perceptions of their role. Results of this study could provide information for identifying issues that need to be addressed to facilitate changes taking place in the health care system.
On 1 January 2006 a number of far-reaching changes in the Dutch health insurance system came into effect. In the new system of managed competition consumer mobility plays an important role. Consumers are free to change their insurer and insurance plan every year. The idea is that consumers who are not satisfied with the premium or quality of care provided will opt for a different insurer. This would force insurers to strive for good prices and quality of care. Internationally, the Dutch changes are under the attention of both policy makers and researchers. Questions answered in this article relate to switching behaviour, reasons for switching, and differences between population categories.
Postal questionnaires were sent to 1516 members of the Dutch Health Care Consumer Panel and to 3757 members of the National Panel of the Chronically ill and Disabled (NPCD) in April 2006. The questionnaire was returned by 1198 members of the Consumer Panel (response 79%) and by 3211 members of the NPCD (response 86%). Among other things, questions were asked about choices for a health insurer and insurance plan and the reasons for this choice.
Young and healthy people switch insurer more often than elderly or people in bad health. The chronically ill and disabled do not switch less often than the general population when both populations are comparable on age, sex and education.
For the general population, premium is more important than content, while the chronically ill and disabled value content of the insurance package as well. However, quality of care is not important for either group as a reason for switching.
There is increased mobility in the new system for both the general population and the chronically ill and disabled. This however is not based on quality of care. If reasons for switching are unrelated to the quality of care, it is hard to believe that switching influences the quality of care. As yet there are no signs of barriers to switch insurer for the chronically ill and disabled. This however could change in the future and it is therefore important to monitor changes.
In 1999, the Korean government made a drug pricing policy reform to improve the efficiency and transparency of the drug distribution system. Yet, its policy formation process was far from being rational. Facing harsh resistance from various interest groups, the government changed its details into something different from what was initially investigated and planned. So far, little evidence supports any improvement in Korea's drug distribution system. Instead, the new drug pricing policy has deteriorated Korea's national health insurance budget, indicating a heavier economic burden for the general public. From Korea's experience, we may draw some lessons for the future development of a better health care system. As a society becomes more pluralistic, the government should come out of authoritarianism and thoroughly prepare in advance for resistance to reform, by making greater efforts to persuade strong interest groups while informing the general public of potential benefits of the reform. Additionally, facing developing civic groups, the government should listen but not rely too much on them at the final stage of the policy formation. Many of the civic groups lack expertise to evaluate the details of policy and tend to act in a somewhat emotional way.
Health; reform; policy; interest group; politics; drug price; Korea
The Medicare program, the largest health insurance program in the United States, is clearly at a crossroads as it enters its third decade. Historical increases in health care expenditures, plus a changing political and economic landscape, have set the groundwork for policy reform. Two basic reform strategies--reimbursement arrangements and program funding mechanisms--are discussed. In 1983, Congress enacted the Prospective Payment System (PPS) which initiated a fundamental change in the way hospitals are paid for care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. But the PPS is only a stepping-stone to broader reforms such as capitation and vouchers. In addition, new methods of program funding may be necessary, especially in light of policymakers' considerations of coverage of services such as long term care and organ transplants.
Resident education involves didactics and pedagogic strategies using a variety of tools and technologies in order to improve critical thinking skills. Debating is used in educational settings to improve critical thinking skills, but there have been no reports of its use in residency education. The present paper describes the use of debate to teach resident physicians about health care reform.
We aimed to describe the method of using a debate in graduate medical education.
Second-year through fourth-year physical medicine and rehabilitation residents participated in a moderated policy debate in which they deliberated whether the United States has one of the “best health care system(s) in the world.” Following the debate, the participants completed an unvalidated open-ended questionnaire about health care reform.
Although residents expressed initial concerns about participating in a public debate on health care reform, all faculty and residents expressed that the debate was robust, animated, and enjoyed by all. Components of holding a successful debate on health care reform were noted to be: (1) getting “buy-in” from the resident physicians; (2) preparing the debate; and (3) follow-up.
The debate facilitated the study of a large, complex topic like health care reform. It created an active learning process. It encouraged learners to keenly attend to an opposing perspective while enthusiastically defending their position. We conclude that the use of debates as a teaching tool in resident education is valuable and should be explored further.