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1.  Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation 
Chambers, David | Simpson, Lisa | Hill-Briggs, Felicia | Neta, Gila | Vinson, Cynthia | Chambers, David | Beidas, Rinad | Marcus, Steven | Aarons, Gregory | Hoagwood, Kimberly | Schoenwald, Sonja | Evans, Arthur | Hurford, Matthew | Rubin, Ronnie | Hadley, Trevor | Barg, Frances | Walsh, Lucia | Adams, Danielle | Mandell, David | Martin, Lindsey | Mignogna, Joseph | Mott, Juliette | Hundt, Natalie | Kauth, Michael | Kunik, Mark | Naik, Aanand | Cully, Jeffrey | McGuire, Alan | White, Dominique | Bartholomew, Tom | McGrew, John | Luther, Lauren | Rollins, Angie | Salyers, Michelle | Cooper, Brittany | Funaiole, Angie | Richards, Julie | Lee, Amy | Lapham, Gwen | Caldeiro, Ryan | Lozano, Paula | Gildred, Tory | Achtmeyer, Carol | Ludman, Evette | Addis, Megan | Marx, Larry | Bradley, Katharine | VanDeinse, Tonya | Wilson, Amy Blank | Stacey, Burgin | Powell, Byron | Bunger, Alicia | Cuddeback, Gary | Barnett, Miya | Stadnick, Nicole | Brookman-Frazee, Lauren | Lau, Anna | Dorsey, Shannon | Pullmann, Michael | Mitchell, Shannon | Schwartz, Robert | Kirk, Arethusa | Dusek, Kristi | Oros, Marla | Hosler, Colleen | Gryczynski, Jan | Barbosa, Carolina | Dunlap, Laura | Lounsbury, David | O’Grady, Kevin | Brown, Barry | Damschroder, Laura | Waltz, Thomas | Powell, Byron | Ritchie, Mona | Waltz, Thomas | Atkins, David | Imel, Zac E. | Xiao, Bo | Can, Doğan | Georgiou, Panayiotis | Narayanan, Shrikanth | Berkel, Cady | Gallo, Carlos | Sandler, Irwin | Brown, C. Hendricks | Wolchik, Sharlene | Mauricio, Anne Marie | Gallo, Carlos | Brown, C. Hendricks | Mehrotra, Sanjay | Chandurkar, Dharmendra | Bora, Siddhartha | Das, Arup | Tripathi, Anand | Saggurti, Niranjan | Raj, Anita | Hughes, Eric | Jacobs, Brian | Kirkendall, Eric | Loeb, Danielle | Trinkley, Katy | Yang, Michael | Sprowell, Andrew | Nease, Donald | Lyon, Aaron | Lewis, Cara | Boyd, Meredith | Melvin, Abigail | Nicodimos, Semret | Liu, Freda | Jungbluth, Nathanial | Lyon, Aaron | Lewis, Cara | Boyd, Meredith | Melvin, Abigail | Nicodimos, Semret | Liu, Freda | Jungbluth, Nathanial | Flynn, Allen | Landis-Lewis, Zach | Sales, Anne | Baloh, Jure | Ward, Marcia | Zhu, Xi | Bennett, Ian | Unutzer, Jurgen | Mao, Johnny | Proctor, Enola | Vredevoogd, Mindy | Chan, Ya-Fen | Williams, Nathaniel | Green, Phillip | Bernstein, Steven | Rosner, June-Marie | DeWitt, Michelle | Tetrault, Jeanette | Dziura, James | Hsiao, Allen | Sussman, Scott | O’Connor, Patrick | Toll, Benjamin | Jones, Michael | Gassaway, Julie | Tobin, Jonathan | Zatzick, Douglas | Bradbury, Angela R. | Patrick-Miller, Linda | Egleston, Brian | Olopade, Olufunmilayo I. | Hall, Michael J. | Daly, Mary B. | Fleisher, Linda | Grana, Generosa | Ganschow, Pamela | Fetzer, Dominique | Brandt, Amanda | Farengo-Clark, Dana | Forman, Andrea | Gaber, Rikki S. | Gulden, Cassandra | Horte, Janice | Long, Jessica | Chambers, Rachelle Lorenz | Lucas, Terra | Madaan, Shreshtha | Mattie, Kristin | McKenna, Danielle | Montgomery, Susan | Nielsen, Sarah | Powers, Jacquelyn | Rainey, Kim | Rybak, Christina | Savage, Michelle | Seelaus, Christina | Stoll, Jessica | Stopfer, Jill | Yao, Shirley | Domchek, Susan | Hahn, Erin | Munoz-Plaza, Corrine | Wang, Jianjin | Delgadillo, Jazmine Garcia | Mittman, Brian | Gould, Michael | Liang, Shuting (Lily) | Kegler, Michelle C. | Cotter, Megan | Phillips, Emily | Hermstad, April | Morton, Rentonia | Beasley, Derrick | Martinez, Jeremy | Riehman, Kara | Gustafson, David | Marsch, Lisa | Mares, Louise | Quanbeck, Andrew | McTavish, Fiona | McDowell, Helene | Brown, Randall | Thomas, Chantelle | Glass, Joseph | Isham, Joseph | Shah, Dhavan | Liebschutz, Jane | Lasser, Karen | Watkins, Katherine | Ober, Allison | Hunter, Sarah | Lamp, Karen | Ewing, Brett | Iwelunmor, Juliet | Gyamfi, Joyce | Blackstone, Sarah | Quakyi, Nana Kofi | Plange-Rhule, Jacob | Ogedegbe, Gbenga | Kumar, Pritika | Van Devanter, Nancy | Nguyen, Nam | Nguyen, Linh | Nguyen, Trang | Phuong, Nguyet | Shelley, Donna | Rudge, Sian | Langlois, Etienne | Tricco, Andrea | Ball, Sherry | Lambert-Kerzner, Anne | Sulc, Christine | Simmons, Carol | Shell-Boyd, Jeneen | Oestreich, Taryn | O’Connor, Ashley | Neely, Emily | McCreight, Marina | Labebue, Amy | DiFiore, Doreen | Brostow, Diana | Ho, P. Michael | Aron, David | Harvey, Jillian | McHugh, Megan | Scanlon, Dennis | Lee, Rebecca | Soltero, Erica | Parker, Nathan | McNeill, Lorna | Ledoux, Tracey | McIsaac, Jessie-Lee | MacLeod, Kate | Ata, Nicole | Jarvis, Sherry | Kirk, Sara | Purtle, Jonathan | Dodson, Elizabeth | Brownson, Ross | Mittman, Brian | Curran, Geoffrey | Curran, Geoffrey | Pyne, Jeffrey | Aarons, Gregory | Ehrhart, Mark | Torres, Elisa | Miech, Edward | Miech, Edward | Stevens, Kathleen | Hamilton, Alison | Cohen, Deborah | Padgett, Deborah | Morshed, Alexandra | Patel, Rupa | Prusaczyk, Beth | Aron, David C. | Gupta, Divya | Ball, Sherry | Hand, Rosa | Abram, Jenica | Wolfram, Taylor | Hastings, Molly | Moreland-Russell, Sarah | Tabak, Rachel | Ramsey, Alex | Baumann, Ana | Kryzer, Emily | Montgomery, Katherine | Lewis, Ericka | Padek, Margaret | Powell, Byron | Brownson, Ross | Mamaril, Cezar Brian | Mays, Glen | Branham, Keith | Timsina, Lava | Mays, Glen | Hogg, Rachel | Fagan, Abigail | Shapiro, Valerie | Brown, Eric | Haggerty, Kevin | Hawkins, David | Oesterle, Sabrina | Hawkins, David | Catalano, Richard | McKay, Virginia | Dolcini, M. Margaret | Hoffer, Lee | Moin, Tannaz | Li, Jinnan | Duru, O. Kenrik | Ettner, Susan | Turk, Norman | Chan, Charles | Keckhafer, Abigail | Luchs, Robert | Ho, Sam | Mangione, Carol | Selby, Peter | Zawertailo, Laurie | Minian, Nadia | Balliunas, Dolly | Dragonetti, Rosa | Hussain, Sarwar | Lecce, Julia | Chinman, Matthew | Acosta, Joie | Ebener, Patricia | Malone, Patrick S. | Slaughter, Mary | Freedman, Darcy | Flocke, Susan | Lee, Eunlye | Matlack, Kristen | Trapl, Erika | Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam | Taggart, Morgan | Borawski, Elaine | Parrish, Amanda | Harris, Jeffrey | Kohn, Marlana | Hammerback, Kristen | McMillan, Becca | Hannon, Peggy | Swindle, Taren | Curran, Geoffrey | Whiteside-Mansell, Leanne | Ward, Wendy | Holt, Cheryl | Santos, Sheri Lou | Tagai, Erin | Scheirer, Mary Ann | Carter, Roxanne | Bowie, Janice | Haider, Muhiuddin | Slade, Jimmie | Wang, Min Qi | Masica, Andrew | Ogola, Gerald | Berryman, Candice | Richter, Kathleen | Shelton, Rachel | Jandorf, Lina | Erwin, Deborah | Truong, Khoa | Javier, Joyce R. | Coffey, Dean | Schrager, Sheree M. | Palinkas, Lawrence | Miranda, Jeanne | Johnson, Veda | Hutcherson, Valerie | Ellis, Ruth | Kharmats, Anna | Marshall-King, Sandra | LaPradd, Monica | Fonseca-Becker, Fannie | Kepka, Deanna | Bodson, Julia | Warner, Echo | Fowler, Brynn | Shenkman, Elizabeth | Hogan, William | Odedina, Folakami | De Leon, Jessica | Hooper, Monica | Carrasquillo, Olveen | Reams, Renee | Hurt, Myra | Smith, Steven | Szapocznik, Jose | Nelson, David | Mandal, Prabir | Teufel, James
Implementation Science : IS  2016;11(Suppl 2):100.
Table of contents
A1 Introduction to the 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Optimizing Personal and Population Health
David Chambers, Lisa Simpson
D1 Discussion forum: Population health D&I research
Felicia Hill-Briggs
D2 Discussion forum: Global health D&I research
Gila Neta, Cynthia Vinson
D3 Discussion forum: Precision medicine and D&I research
David Chambers
S1 Predictors of community therapists’ use of therapy techniques in a large public mental health system
Rinad Beidas, Steven Marcus, Gregory Aarons, Kimberly Hoagwood, Sonja Schoenwald, Arthur Evans, Matthew Hurford, Ronnie Rubin, Trevor Hadley, Frances Barg, Lucia Walsh, Danielle Adams, David Mandell
S2 Implementing brief cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in primary care: Clinicians' experiences from the field
Lindsey Martin, Joseph Mignogna, Juliette Mott, Natalie Hundt, Michael Kauth, Mark Kunik, Aanand Naik, Jeffrey Cully
S3 Clinician competence: Natural variation, factors affecting, and effect on patient outcomes
Alan McGuire, Dominique White, Tom Bartholomew, John McGrew, Lauren Luther, Angie Rollins, Michelle Salyers
S4 Exploring the multifaceted nature of sustainability in community-based prevention: A mixed-method approach
Brittany Cooper, Angie Funaiole
S5 Theory informed behavioral health integration in primary care: Mixed methods evaluation of the implementation of routine depression and alcohol screening and assessment
Julie Richards, Amy Lee, Gwen Lapham, Ryan Caldeiro, Paula Lozano, Tory Gildred, Carol Achtmeyer, Evette Ludman, Megan Addis, Larry Marx, Katharine Bradley
S6 Enhancing the evidence for specialty mental health probation through a hybrid efficacy and implementation study
Tonya VanDeinse, Amy Blank Wilson, Burgin Stacey, Byron Powell, Alicia Bunger, Gary Cuddeback
S7 Personalizing evidence-based child mental health care within a fiscally mandated policy reform
Miya Barnett, Nicole Stadnick, Lauren Brookman-Frazee, Anna Lau
S8 Leveraging an existing resource for technical assistance: Community-based supervisors in public mental health
Shannon Dorsey, Michael Pullmann
S9 SBIRT implementation for adolescents in urban federally qualified health centers: Implementation outcomes
Shannon Mitchell, Robert Schwartz, Arethusa Kirk, Kristi Dusek, Marla Oros, Colleen Hosler, Jan Gryczynski, Carolina Barbosa, Laura Dunlap, David Lounsbury, Kevin O'Grady, Barry Brown
S10 PANEL: Tailoring Implementation Strategies to Context - Expert recommendations for tailoring strategies to context
Laura Damschroder, Thomas Waltz, Byron Powell
S11 PANEL: Tailoring Implementation Strategies to Context - Extreme facilitation: Helping challenged healthcare settings implement complex programs
Mona Ritchie
S12 PANEL: Tailoring Implementation Strategies to Context - Using menu-based choice tasks to obtain expert recommendations for implementing three high-priority practices in the VA
Thomas Waltz
S13 PANEL: The Use of Technology to Improve Efficient Monitoring of Implementation of Evidence-based Programs - Siri, rate my therapist: Using technology to automate fidelity ratings of motivational interviewing
David Atkins, Zac E. Imel, Bo Xiao, Doğan Can, Panayiotis Georgiou, Shrikanth Narayanan
S14 PANEL: The Use of Technology to Improve Efficient Monitoring of Implementation of Evidence-based Programs - Identifying indicators of implementation quality for computer-based ratings
Cady Berkel, Carlos Gallo, Irwin Sandler, C. Hendricks Brown, Sharlene Wolchik, Anne Marie Mauricio
S15 PANEL: The Use of Technology to Improve Efficient Monitoring of Implementation of Evidence-based Programs - Improving implementation of behavioral interventions by monitoring emotion in spoken speech
Carlos Gallo, C. Hendricks Brown, Sanjay Mehrotra
S16 Scorecards and dashboards to assure data quality of health management information system (HMIS) using R
Dharmendra Chandurkar, Siddhartha Bora, Arup Das, Anand Tripathi, Niranjan Saggurti, Anita Raj
S17 A big data approach for discovering and implementing patient safety insights
Eric Hughes, Brian Jacobs, Eric Kirkendall
S18 Improving the efficacy of a depression registry for use in a collaborative care model
Danielle Loeb, Katy Trinkley, Michael Yang, Andrew Sprowell, Donald Nease
S19 Measurement feedback systems as a strategy to support implementation of measurement-based care in behavioral health
Aaron Lyon, Cara Lewis, Meredith Boyd, Abigail Melvin, Semret Nicodimos, Freda Liu, Nathanial Jungbluth
S20 PANEL: Implementation Science and Learning Health Systems: Intersections and Commonalities - Common loop assay: Methods of supporting learning collaboratives
Allen Flynn
S21 PANEL: Implementation Science and Learning Health Systems: Intersections and Commonalities - Innovating audit and feedback using message tailoring models for learning health systems
Zach Landis-Lewis
S22 PANEL: Implementation Science and Learning Health Systems: Intersections and Commonalities - Implementation science and learning health systems: Connecting the dots
Anne Sales
S23 Facilitation activities of Critical Access Hospitals during TeamSTEPPS implementation
Jure Baloh, Marcia Ward, Xi Zhu
S24 Organizational and social context of federally qualified health centers and variation in maternal depression outcomes
Ian Bennett, Jurgen Unutzer, Johnny Mao, Enola Proctor, Mindy Vredevoogd, Ya-Fen Chan, Nathaniel Williams, Phillip Green
S25 Decision support to enhance treatment of hospitalized smokers: A randomized trial
Steven Bernstein, June-Marie Rosner, Michelle DeWitt, Jeanette Tetrault, James Dziura, Allen Hsiao, Scott Sussman, Patrick O’Connor, Benjamin Toll
S26 PANEL: Developing Sustainable Strategies for the Implementation of Patient-Centered Care across Diverse US Healthcare Systems - A patient-centered approach to successful community transition after catastrophic injury
Michael Jones, Julie Gassaway
S27 PANEL: Developing Sustainable Strategies for the Implementation of Patient-Centered Care across Diverse US Healthcare Systems - Conducting PCOR to integrate mental health and cancer screening services in primary care
Jonathan Tobin
S28 PANEL: Developing Sustainable Strategies for the Implementation of Patient-Centered Care across Diverse US Healthcare Systems - A comparative effectiveness trial of optimal patient-centered care for US trauma care systems
Douglas Zatzick
S29 Preferences for in-person communication among patients in a multi-center randomized study of in-person versus telephone communication of genetic test results for cancer susceptibility
Angela R Bradbury, Linda Patrick-Miller, Brian Egleston, Olufunmilayo I Olopade, Michael J Hall, Mary B Daly, Linda Fleisher, Generosa Grana, Pamela Ganschow, Dominique Fetzer, Amanda Brandt, Dana Farengo-Clark, Andrea Forman, Rikki S Gaber, Cassandra Gulden, Janice Horte, Jessica Long, Rachelle Lorenz Chambers, Terra Lucas, Shreshtha Madaan, Kristin Mattie, Danielle McKenna, Susan Montgomery, Sarah Nielsen, Jacquelyn Powers, Kim Rainey, Christina Rybak, Michelle Savage, Christina Seelaus, Jessica Stoll, Jill Stopfer, Shirley Yao and Susan Domchek
S30 Working towards de-implementation: A mixed methods study in breast cancer surveillance care
Erin Hahn, Corrine Munoz-Plaza, Jianjin Wang, Jazmine Garcia Delgadillo, Brian Mittman Michael Gould
S31Integrating evidence-based practices for increasing cancer screenings in safety-net primary care systems: A multiple case study using the consolidated framework for implementation research
Shuting (Lily) Liang, Michelle C. Kegler, Megan Cotter, Emily Phillips, April Hermstad, Rentonia Morton, Derrick Beasley, Jeremy Martinez, Kara Riehman
S32 Observations from implementing an mHealth intervention in an FQHC
David Gustafson, Lisa Marsch, Louise Mares, Andrew Quanbeck, Fiona McTavish, Helene McDowell, Randall Brown, Chantelle Thomas, Joseph Glass, Joseph Isham, Dhavan Shah
S33 A multicomponent intervention to improve primary care provider adherence to chronic opioid therapy guidelines and reduce opioid misuse: A cluster randomized controlled trial protocol
Jane Liebschutz, Karen Lasser
S34 Implementing collaborative care for substance use disorders in primary care: Preliminary findings from the summit study
Katherine Watkins, Allison Ober, Sarah Hunter, Karen Lamp, Brett Ewing
S35 Sustaining a task-shifting strategy for blood pressure control in Ghana: A stakeholder analysis
Juliet Iwelunmor, Joyce Gyamfi, Sarah Blackstone, Nana Kofi Quakyi, Jacob Plange-Rhule, Gbenga Ogedegbe
S36 Contextual adaptation of the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) in a tobacco cessation study in Vietnam
Pritika Kumar, Nancy Van Devanter, Nam Nguyen, Linh Nguyen, Trang Nguyen, Nguyet Phuong, Donna Shelley
S37 Evidence check: A knowledge brokering approach to systematic reviews for policy
Sian Rudge
S38 Using Evidence Synthesis to Strengthen Complex Health Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Etienne Langlois
S39 Does it matter: timeliness or accuracy of results? The choice of rapid reviews or systematic reviews to inform decision-making
Andrea Tricco
S40 Evaluation of the veterans choice program using lean six sigma at a VA medical center to identify benefits and overcome obstacles
Sherry Ball, Anne Lambert-Kerzner, Christine Sulc, Carol Simmons, Jeneen Shell-Boyd, Taryn Oestreich, Ashley O'Connor, Emily Neely, Marina McCreight, Amy Labebue, Doreen DiFiore, Diana Brostow, P. Michael Ho, David Aron
S41 The influence of local context on multi-stakeholder alliance quality improvement activities: A multiple case study
Jillian Harvey, Megan McHugh, Dennis Scanlon
S42 Increasing physical activity in early care and education: Sustainability via active garden education (SAGE)
Rebecca Lee, Erica Soltero, Nathan Parker, Lorna McNeill, Tracey Ledoux
S43 Marking a decade of policy implementation: The successes and continuing challenges of a provincial school food and nutrition policy in Canada
Jessie-Lee McIsaac, Kate MacLeod, Nicole Ata, Sherry Jarvis, Sara Kirk
S44 Use of research evidence among state legislators who prioritize mental health and substance abuse issues
Jonathan Purtle, Elizabeth Dodson, Ross Brownson
S45 PANEL: Effectiveness-Implementation Hybrid Designs: Clarifications, Refinements, and Additional Guidance Based on a Systematic Review and Reports from the Field - Hybrid type 1 designs
Brian Mittman, Geoffrey Curran
S46 PANEL: Effectiveness-Implementation Hybrid Designs: Clarifications, Refinements, and Additional Guidance Based on a Systematic Review and Reports from the Field - Hybrid type 2 designs
Geoffrey Curran
S47 PANEL: Effectiveness-Implementation Hybrid Designs: Clarifications, Refinements, and Additional Guidance Based on a Systematic Review and Reports from the Field - Hybrid type 3 designs
Jeffrey Pyne
S48 Linking team level implementation leadership and implementation climate to individual level attitudes, behaviors, and implementation outcomes
Gregory Aarons, Mark Ehrhart, Elisa Torres
S49 Pinpointing the specific elements of local context that matter most to implementation outcomes: Findings from qualitative comparative analysis in the RE-inspire study of VA acute stroke care
Edward Miech
S50 The GO score: A new context-sensitive instrument to measure group organization level for providing and improving care
Edward Miech
S51 A research network approach for boosting implementation and improvement
Kathleen Stevens, I.S.R.N. Steering Council
S52 PANEL: Qualitative methods in D&I Research: Value, rigor and challenge - The value of qualitative methods in implementation research
Alison Hamilton
S53 PANEL: Qualitative methods in D&I Research: Value, rigor and challenge - Learning evaluation: The role of qualitative methods in dissemination and implementation research
Deborah Cohen
S54 PANEL: Qualitative methods in D&I Research: Value, rigor and challenge - Qualitative methods in D&I research
Deborah Padgett
S55 PANEL: Maps & models: The promise of network science for clinical D&I - Hospital network of sharing patients with acute and chronic diseases in California
Alexandra Morshed
S56 PANEL: Maps & models: The promise of network science for clinical D&I - The use of social network analysis to identify dissemination targets and enhance D&I research study recruitment for pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP) among men who have sex with men
Rupa Patel
S57 PANEL: Maps & models: The promise of network science for clinical D&I - Network and organizational factors related to the adoption of patient navigation services among rural breast cancer care providers
Beth Prusaczyk
S58 A theory of de-implementation based on the theory of healthcare professionals’ behavior and intention (THPBI) and the becker model of unlearning
David C. Aron, Divya Gupta, Sherry Ball
S59 Observation of registered dietitian nutritionist-patient encounters by dietetic interns highlights low awareness and implementation of evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines
Rosa Hand, Jenica Abram, Taylor Wolfram
S60 Program sustainability action planning: Building capacity for program sustainability using the program sustainability assessment tool
Molly Hastings, Sarah Moreland-Russell
S61 A review of D&I study designs in published study protocols
Rachel Tabak, Alex Ramsey, Ana Baumann, Emily Kryzer, Katherine Montgomery, Ericka Lewis, Margaret Padek, Byron Powell, Ross Brownson
S62 PANEL: Geographic variation in the implementation of public health services: Economic, organizational, and network determinants - Model simulation techniques to estimate the cost of implementing foundational public health services
Cezar Brian Mamaril, Glen Mays, Keith Branham, Lava Timsina
S63 PANEL: Geographic variation in the implementation of public health services: Economic, organizational, and network determinants - Inter-organizational network effects on the implementation of public health services
Glen Mays, Rachel Hogg
S64 PANEL: Building capacity for implementation and dissemination of the communities that care prevention system at scale to promote evidence-based practices in behavioral health - Implementation fidelity, coalition functioning, and community prevention system transformation using communities that care
Abigail Fagan, Valerie Shapiro, Eric Brown
S65 PANEL: Building capacity for implementation and dissemination of the communities that care prevention system at scale to promote evidence-based practices in behavioral health - Expanding capacity for implementation of communities that care at scale using a web-based, video-assisted training system
Kevin Haggerty, David Hawkins
S66 PANEL: Building capacity for implementation and dissemination of the communities that care prevention system at scale to promote evidence-based practices in behavioral health - Effects of communities that care on reducing youth behavioral health problems
Sabrina Oesterle, David Hawkins, Richard Catalano
S68 When interventions end: the dynamics of intervention de-adoption and replacement
Virginia McKay, M. Margaret Dolcini, Lee Hoffer
S69 Results from next-d: can a disease specific health plan reduce incident diabetes development among a national sample of working-age adults with pre-diabetes?
Tannaz Moin, Jinnan Li, O. Kenrik Duru, Susan Ettner, Norman Turk, Charles Chan, Abigail Keckhafer, Robert Luchs, Sam Ho, Carol Mangione
S70 Implementing smoking cessation interventions in primary care settings (STOP): using the interactive systems framework
Peter Selby, Laurie Zawertailo, Nadia Minian, Dolly Balliunas, Rosa Dragonetti, Sarwar Hussain, Julia Lecce
S71 Testing the Getting To Outcomes implementation support intervention in prevention-oriented, community-based settings
Matthew Chinman, Joie Acosta, Patricia Ebener, Patrick S Malone, Mary Slaughter
S72 Examining the reach of a multi-component farmers’ market implementation approach among low-income consumers in an urban context
Darcy Freedman, Susan Flocke, Eunlye Lee, Kristen Matlack, Erika Trapl, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Morgan Taggart, Elaine Borawski
S73 Increasing implementation of evidence-based health promotion practices at large workplaces: The CEOs Challenge
Amanda Parrish, Jeffrey Harris, Marlana Kohn, Kristen Hammerback, Becca McMillan, Peggy Hannon
S74 A qualitative assessment of barriers to nutrition promotion and obesity prevention in childcare
Taren Swindle, Geoffrey Curran, Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Wendy Ward
S75 Documenting institutionalization of a health communication intervention in African American churches
Cheryl Holt, Sheri Lou Santos, Erin Tagai, Mary Ann Scheirer, Roxanne Carter, Janice Bowie, Muhiuddin Haider, Jimmie Slade, Min Qi Wang
S76 Reduction in hospital utilization by underserved patients through use of a community-medical home
Andrew Masica, Gerald Ogola, Candice Berryman, Kathleen Richter
S77 Sustainability of evidence-based lay health advisor programs in African American communities: A mixed methods investigation of the National Witness Project
Rachel Shelton, Lina Jandorf, Deborah Erwin
S78 Predicting the long-term uninsured population and analyzing their gaps in physical access to healthcare in South Carolina
Khoa Truong
S79 Using an evidence-based parenting intervention in churches to prevent behavioral problems among Filipino youth: A randomized pilot study
Joyce R. Javier, Dean Coffey, Sheree M. Schrager, Lawrence Palinkas, Jeanne Miranda
S80 Sustainability of elementary school-based health centers in three health-disparate southern communities
Veda Johnson, Valerie Hutcherson, Ruth Ellis
S81 Childhood obesity prevention partnership in Louisville: creative opportunities to engage families in a multifaceted approach to obesity prevention
Anna Kharmats, Sandra Marshall-King, Monica LaPradd, Fannie Fonseca-Becker
S82 Improvements in cervical cancer prevention found after implementation of evidence-based Latina prevention care management program
Deanna Kepka, Julia Bodson, Echo Warner, Brynn Fowler
S83 The OneFlorida data trust: Achieving health equity through research & training capacity building
Elizabeth Shenkman, William Hogan, Folakami Odedina, Jessica De Leon, Monica Hooper, Olveen Carrasquillo, Renee Reams, Myra Hurt, Steven Smith, Jose Szapocznik, David Nelson, Prabir Mandal
S84 Disseminating and sustaining medical-legal partnerships: Shared value and social return on investment
James Teufel
doi:10.1186/s13012-016-0452-0
PMCID: PMC4977475  PMID: 27490260
2.  Evidence from the national health account: the case of Dubai 
Introduction
National health accounts (NHAs) provide useful information to aid in understanding the health care financing system. This article aims to present a profile of health system financing in Dubai using data from the NHA. We also aim to compare the provider structure of financing schemes in Dubai with those of the State of Qatar and selected Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
Methods
The author analyzed secondary data published in NHAs for Dubai and Qatar, and data collected by the OECD countries and publicly available from the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), for 25 OECD countries for comparative analysis. All health financing measures used are as defined in the international System of Health Accounts (SHA).
Results
In Dubai, only 33% of current health expenditure (CHE) is funded by the government. However, the public sector is the main source of health funding in Qatar and most OECD countries, with an average of 79% and 72%, respectively. Households in Dubai spent about 22% of CHE, equivalent to an average US$187 per capita, ranking the highest among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and compared with 20% of CHE across OECD countries. Hospitals in Dubai accounted for 48% of CHE, which is much higher than Qatar (40%) and the OECD average (36%).
Conclusion
The Dubai health care financing system differs substantially from that in OECD countries, as it is more private oriented. The findings point to several potential opportunities for growth and improvement. Policy areas that may be addressed using the information presented in this article are broad and include the following: shift from hospital care to ambulatory and day care, sustainability of health finance, shift the cost of health care to the private sector, introduce cost-containment measures, revise payment systems for health providers, and produce subnational accounts for non-communicable diseases. More investment in the translation of national health account data into policy is suggested for future researchers.
doi:10.2147/RMHP.S69868
PMCID: PMC4181628  PMID: 25285027
Dubai; health finance; health account; health expenditures
3.  Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety 
Long working hours and sleep deprivation have been a facet of physician training in the US since the advent of the modern residency system. However, the scientific evidence linking fatigue with deficits in human performance, accidents and errors in industries from aeronautics to medicine, nuclear power, and transportation has mounted over the last 40 years. This evidence has also spawned regulations to help ensure public safety across safety-sensitive industries, with the notable exception of medicine.
In late 2007, at the behest of the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine embarked on a year-long examination of the scientific evidence linking resident physician sleep deprivation with clinical performance deficits and medical errors. The Institute of Medicine’s report, entitled “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety”, published in January 2009, recommended new limits on resident physician work hours and workload, increased supervision, a heightened focus on resident physician safety, training in structured handovers and quality improvement, more rigorous external oversight of work hours and other aspects of residency training, and the identification of expanded funding sources necessary to implement the recommended reforms successfully and protect the public and resident physicians themselves from preventable harm.
Given that resident physicians comprise almost a quarter of all physicians who work in hospitals, and that taxpayers, through Medicare and Medicaid, fund graduate medical education, the public has a deep investment in physician training. Patients expect to receive safe, high-quality care in the nation’s teaching hospitals. Because it is their safety that is at issue, their voices should be central in policy decisions affecting patient safety. It is likewise important to integrate the perspectives of resident physicians, policy makers, and other constituencies in designing new policies. However, since its release, discussion of the Institute of Medicine report has been largely confined to the medical education community, led by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
To begin gathering these perspectives and developing a plan to implement safer work hours for resident physicians, a conference entitled “Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety: What will it take to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations?” was held at Harvard Medical School on June 17–18, 2010. This White Paper is a product of a diverse group of 26 representative stakeholders bringing relevant new information and innovative practices to bear on a critical patient safety problem. Given that our conference included experts from across disciplines with diverse perspectives and interests, not every recommendation was endorsed by each invited conference participant. However, every recommendation made here was endorsed by the majority of the group, and many were endorsed unanimously. Conference members participated in the process, reviewed the final product, and provided input before publication. Participants provided their individual perspectives, which do not necessarily represent the formal views of any organization.
In September 2010 the ACGME issued new rules to go into effect on July 1, 2011. Unfortunately, they stop considerably short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and those endorsed by this conference. In particular, the ACGME only applied the limitation of 16 hours to first-year resident physicans. Thus, it is clear that policymakers, hospital administrators, and residency program directors who wish to implement safer health care systems must go far beyond what the ACGME will require. We hope this White Paper will serve as a guide and provide encouragement for that effort.
Resident physician workload and supervision
By the end of training, a resident physician should be able to practice independently. Yet much of resident physicians’ time is dominated by tasks with little educational value. The caseload can be so great that inadequate reflective time is left for learning based on clinical experiences. In addition, supervision is often vaguely defined and discontinuous. Medical malpractice data indicate that resident physicians are frequently named in lawsuits, most often for lack of supervision. The recommendations are: The ACGME should adjust resident physicians workload requirements to optimize educational value. Resident physicians as well as faculty should be involved in work redesign that eliminates nonessential and noneducational activity from resident physician dutiesMechanisms should be developed for identifying in real time when a resident physician’s workload is excessive, and processes developed to activate additional providersTeamwork should be actively encouraged in delivery of patient care. Historically, much of medical training has focused on individual knowledge, skills, and responsibility. As health care delivery has become more complex, it will be essential to train resident and attending physicians in effective teamwork that emphasizes collective responsibility for patient care and recognizes the signs, both individual and systemic, of a schedule and working conditions that are too demanding to be safeHospitals should embrace the opportunities that resident physician training redesign offers. Hospitals should recognize and act on the potential benefits of work redesign, eg, increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality of care, and resident physician and attending job satisfactionAttending physicians should supervise all hospital admissions. Resident physicians should directly discuss all admissions with attending physicians. Attending physicians should be both cognizant of and have input into the care patients are to receive upon admission to the hospitalInhouse supervision should be required for all critical care services, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma services. Resident physicians should not be left unsupervised to care for critically ill patients. In settings in which the acuity is high, physicians who have completed residency should provide direct supervision for resident physicians. Supervising physicians should always be physically in the hospital for supervision of resident physicians who care for critically ill patientsThe ACGME should explicitly define “good” supervision by specialty and by year of training. Explicit requirements for intensity and level of training for supervision of specific clinical scenarios should be providedCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use graduate medical education funding to provide incentives to programs with proven, effective levels of supervision. Although this action would require federal legislation, reimbursement rules would help to ensure that hospitals pay attention to the importance of good supervision and require it from their training programs
Resident physician work hours
Although the IOM “Sleep, supervision and safety” report provides a comprehensive review and discussion of all aspects of graduate medical education training, the report’s focal point is its recommendations regarding the hours that resident physicians are currently required to work. A considerable body of scientific evidence, much of it cited by the Institute of Medicine report, describes deteriorating performance in fatigued humans, as well as specific studies on resident physician fatigue and preventable medical errors.
The question before this conference was what work redesign and cultural changes are needed to reform work hours as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based report? Extensive scientific data demonstrate that shifts exceeding 12–16 hours without sleep are unsafe. Several principles should be followed in efforts to reduce consecutive hours below this level and achieve safer work schedules. The recommendations are: Limit resident physician work hours to 12–16 hour maximum shiftsA minimum of 10 hours off duty should be scheduled between shiftsResident physician input into work redesign should be actively solicitedSchedules should be designed that adhere to principles of sleep and circadian science; this includes careful consideration of the effects of multiple consecutive night shifts, and provision of adequate time off after night work, as specified in the IOM reportResident physicians should not be scheduled up to the maximum permissible limits; emergencies frequently occur that require resident physicians to stay longer than their scheduled shifts, and this should be anticipated in scheduling resident physicians’ work shiftsHospitals should anticipate the need for iterative improvement as new schedules are initiated; be prepared to learn from the initial phase-in, and change the plan as neededAs resident physician work hours are redesigned, attending physicians should also be considered; a potential consequence of resident physician work hour reduction and increased supervisory requirements may be an increase in work for attending physicians; this should be carefully monitored, and adjustments to attending physician work schedules made as needed to prevent unsafe work hours or working conditions for this group“Home call” should be brought under the overall limits of working hours; work load and hours should be monitored in each residency program to ensure that resident physicians and fellows on home call are getting sufficient sleepMedicare funding for graduate medical education in each hospital should be linked with adherence to the Institute of Medicine limits on resident physician work hours
Moonlighting by resident physicians
The Institute of Medicine report recommended including external as well as internal moonlighting in working hour limits. The recommendation is: All moonlighting work hours should be included in the ACGME working hour limits and actively monitored. Hospitals should formalize a moonlighting policy and establish systems for actively monitoring resident physician moonlighting
Safety of resident physicians
The “Sleep, supervision and safety” report also addresses fatigue-related harm done to resident physicians themselves. The report focuses on two main sources of physical injury to resident physicians impaired by fatigue, ie, needle-stick exposure to blood-borne pathogens and motor vehicle crashes. Providing safe transportation home for resident physicians is a logistical and financial challenge for hospitals. Educating physicians at all levels on the dangers of fatigue is clearly required to change driving behavior so that safe hospital-funded transport home is used effectively. Fatigue-related injury prevention (including not driving while drowsy) should be taught in medical school and during residency, and reinforced with attending physicians; hospitals and residency programs must be informed that resident physicians’ ability to judge their own level of impairment is impaired when they are sleep deprived; hence, leaving decisions about the capacity to drive to impaired resident physicians is not recommendedHospitals should provide transportation to all resident physicians who report feeling too tired to drive safely; in addition, although consecutive work should not exceed 16 hours, hospitals should provide transportation for all resident physicians who, because of unforeseen reasons or emergencies, work for longer than consecutive 24 hours; transportation under these circumstances should be automatically provided to house staff, and should not rely on self-identification or request
Training in effective handovers and quality improvement
Handover practice for resident physicians, attendings, and other health care providers has long been identified as a weak link in patient safety throughout health care settings. Policies to improve handovers of care must be tailored to fit the appropriate clinical scenario, recognizing that information overload can also be a problem. At the heart of improving handovers is the organizational effort to improve quality, an effort in which resident physicians have typically been insufficiently engaged. The recommendations are: Hospitals should train attending and resident physicians in effective handovers of careHospitals should create uniform processes for handovers that are tailored to meet each clinical setting; all handovers should be done verbally and face-to-face, but should also utilize written toolsWhen possible, hospitals should integrate hand-over tools into their electronic medical records (EMR) systems; these systems should be standardized to the extent possible across residency programs in a hospital, but may be tailored to the needs of specific programs and services; federal government should help subsidize adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals to improve signoutWhen feasible, handovers should be a team effort including nurses, patients, and familiesHospitals should include residents in their quality improvement and patient safety efforts; the ACGME should specify in their core competency requirements that resident physicians work on quality improvement projects; likewise, the Joint Commission should require that resident physicians be included in quality improvement and patient safety programs at teaching hospitals; hospital administrators and residency program directors should create opportunities for resident physicians to become involved in ongoing quality improvement projects and root cause analysis teams; feedback on successful quality improvement interventions should be shared with resident physicians and broadly disseminatedQuality improvement/patient safety concepts should be integral to the medical school curriculum; medical school deans should elevate the topics of patient safety, quality improvement, and teamwork; these concepts should be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum and reinforced throughout residency; mastery of these concepts by medical students should be tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) stepsFederal government should support involvement of resident physicians in quality improvement efforts; initiatives to improve quality by including resident physicians in quality improvement projects should be financially supported by the Department of Health and Human Services
Monitoring and oversight of the ACGME
While the ACGME is a key stakeholder in residency training, external voices are essential to ensure that public interests are heard in the development and monitoring of standards. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine report recommended external oversight and monitoring through the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The recommendations are: Make comprehensive fatigue management a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal; fatigue is a safety concern not only for resident physicians, but also for nurses, attending physicians, and other health care workers; the Joint Commission should seek to ensure that all health care workers, not just resident physicians, are working as safely as possibleFederal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should encourage development of comprehensive fatigue management programs which all health systems would eventually be required to implementMake ACGME compliance with working hours a “ condition of participation” for reimbursement of direct and indirect graduate medical education costs; financial incentives will greatly increase the adoption of and compliance with ACGME standards
Future financial support for implementation
The Institute of Medicine’s report estimates that $1.7 billion (in 2008 dollars) would be needed to implement its recommendations. Twenty-five percent of that amount ($376 million) will be required just to bring hospitals into compliance with the existing 2003 ACGME rules. Downstream savings to the health care system could potentially result from safer care, but these benefits typically do not accrue to hospitals and residency programs, who have been asked historically to bear the burden of residency reform costs. The recommendations are: The Institute of Medicine should convene a panel of stakeholders, including private and public funders of health care and graduate medical education, to lay down the concrete steps necessary to identify and allocate the resources needed to implement the recommendations contained in the IOM “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety” report. Conference participants suggested several approaches to engage public and private support for this initiativeEfforts to find additional funding to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations should focus more broadly on patient safety and health care delivery reform; policy efforts focused narrowly upon resident physician work hours are less likely to succeed than broad patient safety initiatives that include residency redesign as a key componentHospitals should view the Institute of Medicine recommendations as an opportunity to begin resident physician work redesign projects as the core of a business model that embraces safety and ultimately saves resourcesBoth the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should take the Institute of Medicine recommendations into consideration when promulgating rules for innovation grantsThe National Health Care Workforce Commission should consider the Institute of Medicine recommendations when analyzing the nation’s physician workforce needs
Recommendations for future research
Conference participants concurred that convening the stakeholders and agreeing on a research agenda was key. Some observed that some sectors within the medical education community have been reluctant to act on the data. Several logical funders for future research were identified. But above all agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the only stakeholder that funds graduate medical education upstream and will reap savings downstream if preventable medical errors are reduced as a result of reform of resident physician work hours.
doi:10.2147/NSS.S19649
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
4.  Health services financing and delivery: analysis of policy options for Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
Introduction
A national health account (NHA) provides a systematic approach to mapping the flow of health sector funds within a specified health system over a defined time period. This article attempts to present a profile of health system financing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates using data from NHAs, and to compare the functional structures of financing schemes in Dubai with schemes in Qatar and selected member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Methods
The author analyzed secondary data published in NHAs of Dubai and Qatar and data collected by the OECD countries and publicly available from Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union) of 25 OECD countries for comparative analysis. All health financing indicators used were as defined in the international System of Health Accounts (SHA).
Results
In Dubai, spending on inpatient care was the highest-costing component, with 30% of current health expenditures (CHE). Spending on outpatient care was the second highest-costing component and accounted for about 23% of the CHE. Household spending accounted for about 22% of CHE (equivalent to US$187 per capita), compared to an average of 20% of CHE of OECD countries. Dubai spent 0.02% of CHE on long-term care, compared to an average of 11% of CHE of OECD countries. Dubai spent about 6% of CHE on prevention and public health services, compared to an average of 3.2% of CHE of OECD countries.
Conclusion
The findings point to potential opportunities for growth and improvement in several health policy issues in Dubai, including increasing focus and funding of preventive services; shifting from inpatient care to day surgery, outpatient, and home-based services and strengthening long-term care; and introducing cost-containment measures for pharmaceuticals. More investment in the translation of NHA data into policy is suggested for future researchers.
doi:10.2147/CEOR.S75743
PMCID: PMC4348058  PMID: 25750545
health finance schemes; health delivery; health policy
5.  Clinical Benefits, Costs, and Cost-Effectiveness of Neonatal Intensive Care in Mexico 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000379.
Joshua Salomon and colleagues performed a cost-effectiveness analysis using health and economic outcomes following preterm birth in Mexico and showed that neonatal intensive care provided high value for the money in this setting.
Background
Neonatal intensive care improves survival, but is associated with high costs and disability amongst survivors. Recent health reform in Mexico launched a new subsidized insurance program, necessitating informed choices on the different interventions that might be covered by the program, including neonatal intensive care. The purpose of this study was to estimate the clinical outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness of neonatal intensive care in Mexico.
Methods and Findings
A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a decision analytic model of health and economic outcomes following preterm birth. Model parameters governing health outcomes were estimated from Mexican vital registration and hospital discharge databases, supplemented with meta-analyses and systematic reviews from the published literature. Costs were estimated on the basis of data provided by the Ministry of Health in Mexico and World Health Organization price lists, supplemented with published studies from other countries as needed. The model estimated changes in clinical outcomes, life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, lifetime costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for neonatal intensive care compared to no intensive care. Uncertainty around the results was characterized using one-way sensitivity analyses and a multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis. In the base-case analysis, neonatal intensive care for infants born at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks gestational age prolonged life expectancy by 28, 43, and 34 years and averted 9, 15, and 12 DALYs, at incremental costs per infant of US$11,400, US$9,500, and US$3,000, respectively, compared to an alternative of no intensive care. The ICERs of neonatal intensive care at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks were US$1,200, US$650, and US$240, per DALY averted, respectively. The findings were robust to variation in parameter values over wide ranges in sensitivity analyses.
Conclusions
Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for neonatal intensive care imply very high value for money on the basis of conventional benchmarks for cost-effectiveness analysis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks but increasing numbers of babies are being born preterm, before they reach 37 weeks of gestation (the period during which a baby develops in its mother). In developed countries and some middle-income countries such as Mexico, improvements in the care of newborn babies (neonatal intensive care) mean that more preterm babies survive now than in the past. Nevertheless, preterm birth is still a major cause of infant death worldwide that challenges attainment of Target 5 of Millennium Development Goal 4—the reduction of the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds of the 1990 rate by 2015 (the Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed by world leaders in 2000, aim to reduce world poverty). Furthermore, many preterm babies who survive have long-term health problems and disabilities such as cerebral palsy, deafness, or learning difficulties. The severity of these disabilities and their long-term costs to families and to society depend on the baby's degree of prematurity.
Why Was This Study Done?
Mexico recently reformed its health system in an effort to improve access to care, particularly for the poorest sections of its population, and to improve the quality of its health care. The central component of this health care reform is the System of Social Protection of Health (SSPH). The SSPH contains a family health insurance program—Seguro Popular—that aims to provide the 50 million uninsured people living in Mexico with free access to an explicit set of health care interventions. As with any insurance program, decisions have to be made about which interventions Seguro Poplar should cover. Should neonatal intensive care be covered, for example? Do the benefits of this intervention (increased survival of babies) outweigh the costs of neonatal care and of long-term care for survivors with disabilities? In other words, is neonatal intensive care cost-effective? In this study, the researchers investigate this question by estimating the clinical benefits, costs, and cost-effectiveness of neonatal intensive care in Mexico.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers built a decision analytic model, a mathematical model that combines evidence on the outcomes and costs of alternative treatments to help inform decisions about health care policy. They gathered data about the health outcomes of preterm births in Mexico from registers of births and deaths and from hospital discharge databases, and estimated the costs of neonatal intensive care and long-term care for disabled survivors using data from the Mexican Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. They then applied their model, which estimates changes in parameters such as life expectancy, lifetime costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; one DALY represents the loss of a year of healthy life), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs; the additional cost expended for each DALY averted) for neonatal intensive care compared to no intensive care, to a group of 2 million infants. Neonatal intensive care for infants born at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks gestation prolonged life expectancy by 28, 43, and 34 years and averted 9, 15, and 12 DALYs at incremental costs of US$11,000, US$10,000, and US$3000, respectively, compared to no intensive care. The ICERs of neonatal intensive care for babies born at these times were US$1200, US$700, and US$300 per DALY averted, respectively.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Interventions with ICERs of less than a country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) are highly cost-effective; those with ICERs of 1–3 times the per capita GDP are potentially cost-effective. Mexico's per capita GDP in 2005 was approximately US$8,200. Thus, neonatal intensive care could provide exceptional value for money in Mexico (and maybe in other middle-income countries), even for very premature babies. The accuracy of these findings inevitably depends on the assumptions used to build the decision analytic model and on the accuracy of the data fed into it, but the findings were little changed by a wide range of alterations that the researchers made to the model. Importantly, however, this cost-effectiveness analysis focuses on health and economic consequences of different intervention choices, and does not capture all aspects of well-being. Decisions regarding neonatal intensive care will need to be based on a full consideration of all relevant factors, including ethical issues, and cost-effectiveness analyses should continue to be updated as new data emerge on health outcomes and costs associated with neonatal intensive care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000379.
The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, provides information on preterm birth (in English and Spanish)
The Nemours Foundation, another nonprofit organization for child health, also provides information on premature babies (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other information on premature babies (in English and Spanish)
The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) works for children's rights, survival, development and protection around the world; it provides information on Millennium Development Goal 4 and its Childinfo website provides detailed statistics about child survival and health (some information in several languages)
A PLoS Medicine Policy Forum by Núria Homedes and Antonio Ugalde discusses health care reforms in Mexico
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000379
PMCID: PMC3001895  PMID: 21179496
6.  Can Broader Diffusion of Value-Based Insurance Design Increase Benefits from US Health Care without Increasing Costs? Evidence from a Computer Simulation Model 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000234.
Using a computer simulation based on US data, R. Scott Braithwaite and colleagues calculate the benefits of value-based insurance design, in which patients pay less for highly cost-effective services.
Background
Evidence suggests that cost sharing (i.e.,copayments and deductibles) decreases health expenditures but also reduces essential care. Value-based insurance design (VBID) has been proposed to encourage essential care while controlling health expenditures. Our objective was to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID on US health care benefits and costs.
Methods and Findings
We used a published computer simulation of costs and life expectancy gains from US health care to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID. Two scenarios were analyzed: (1) applying VBID solely to pharmacy benefits and (2) applying VBID to both pharmacy benefits and other health care services (e.g., devices). We assumed that cost sharing would be eliminated for high-value services (<$100,000 per life-year), would remain unchanged for intermediate- or unknown-value services ($100,000–$300,000 per life-year or unknown), and would be increased for low-value services (>$300,000 per life-year). All costs are provided in 2003 US dollars. Our simulation estimated that approximately 60% of health expenditures in the US are spent on low-value services, 20% are spent on intermediate-value services, and 20% are spent on high-value services. Correspondingly, the vast majority (80%) of health expenditures would have cost sharing that is impacted by VBID. With prevailing patterns of cost sharing, health care conferred 4.70 life-years at a per-capita annual expenditure of US$5,688. Broader diffusion of VBID to pharmaceuticals increased the benefit conferred by health care by 0.03 to 0.05 additional life-years, without increasing costs and without increasing out-of-pocket payments. Broader diffusion of VBID to other health care services could increase the benefit conferred by health care by 0.24 to 0.44 additional life-years, also without increasing costs and without increasing overall out-of-pocket payments. Among those without health insurance, using cost saving from VBID to subsidize insurance coverage would increase the benefit conferred by health care by 1.21 life-years, a 31% increase.
Conclusion
Broader diffusion of VBID may amplify benefits from US health care without increasing health expenditures.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
More money is spent per person on health care in the US than in any other country. US health care expenditure accounts for 16.2% of the gross domestic product and this figure is rising. Indeed, the increase in health care costs is outstripping the economy's growth rate. Consequently, US policy makers and providers of health insurance—health care in the US is largely provided by the private sector and is paid for through private health insurance or through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid—are looking for better ways to control health expenditures. Although some health care cost reductions can be achieved by increasing efficiency, controlling the quantity of health care consumed is an essential component of strategies designed to reduce health expenditures. These strategies can target health care providers (for example, by requiring primary care physicians to provide referrals before their patients' insurance provides cover for specialist care) or can target consumers, often through cost sharing. Nowadays, most insurance plans include several tiers of cost sharing in which patients pay a larger proportion of the costs of expensive interventions than of cheap interventions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Cost sharing decreases health expenditure but it can also reduce demand for essential care and thus reduce the quality of care. Consequently, some experts have proposed value-based insurance design (VBID), an approach in which the amount of cost sharing is set according to the “value” of an intervention rather than its cost. The value of an intervention is defined as the ratio of the additional benefits to the additional costs of the intervention when compared to the next best alternative intervention. Under VBID, cost sharing could be waived for office visits necessary to control blood pressure in people with diabetes, which deliver high-value care, but could be increased for high-tech scans for dementia, which deliver low-value care. VBID has been adopted by several private health insurance schemes and its core principal is endorsed by US policy makers. However, it is unclear whether wider use of VBID is warranted. In this study, the researchers use a computer simulation of the US health care system to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID on US health care benefits and costs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used their computer simulation to estimate the impact of applying VBID to cost sharing for drugs alone and to cost sharing for drugs, procedures, and other health care services for one million hypothetical US patients. In their simulation, the researchers eliminated cost sharing for services that cost less than US$100,000 per life-year gained (high-value services) and increased cost-sharing for services that cost more than US$300,000 per life-year gained (low-value services); cost-sharing remained unchanged for intermediate- or unknown-value services. With the current pattern of cost sharing, 60% of health expenditure is spent on low-value services and health care increases life expectancy by 4.70 years for an annual per person expenditure of US$5,688, the researchers report. With widespread application of VBID to cost sharing for drugs alone, health care increased life expectancy by an additional 0.03 to 0.05 years without increasing costs. With widespread application of VBID to cost sharing for other health care services, health care increased life expectancy by a further 0.24 to 0.44 years without additional costs. Finally, if the costs saved by applying VBID were used to subsidize insurance for the 15% of the US population currently without health insurance, the benefit conferred by health care among these people would increase by 1.21 life-years.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study depend on the many assumptions included in the computer simulation, which, although complex, is a greatly simplified representation of the US health care system. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that if VBID were used more widely within the US health care system to encourage the use of high-value services, it might be possible to amplify the benefits from US health care without increasing health expenditures. Importantly, the money saved by VBID could be used to help fund universal insurance, a central aim of US health care reform. More research is needed, however, to determine the value of various health care interventions and to investigate whether other ways of linking value to cost sharing might yield even better gains in life expectancy at little or no additional cost.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000234.
Wikipedia has a page on health care in the United States (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
Families USA works to promote high-quality affordable health care for all Americans and provides information about all aspects of US health care and about US health care reforms
The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provides information on the major government health insurance programs and on US national health expenditure statistics
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000234
PMCID: PMC2821897  PMID: 20169114
7.  Analysis of the ‘reformpool’-activity in Austria: is the challenge met? 
Aim
The purpose of our study is to analyse the activities initiated by the foundation of the reformpools on the regional level. We wanted to see not only what projects have emerged from these funds, but also how the incentives of this special way of funding influence the activity and what overall impact can be expected on health services delivery in the future.
Context
In Austria, all expenses in the outpatient sector are borne by the statutory health insurance. But in the inpatient sector, SHI just co-finances about 45% of all costs incurred by patients, with the rest contributed by the federal, regional and municipal level. This, however, leads to a number of problems in today's epidemiological situation with patients in need of many different interventions in the course of their chronic disease.
Originally with the aim of finding solutions to these interface problems between inpatient and outpatient care, the healthcare reform 2005 instated the instrument of the reformpool. The reformpool unites funds from social health insurance and regions to finance projects that develop new ways of health services delivery across the sectors. In the course of recent reforms, it became explicitly possible to sponsor projects of integrated care, which had de facto already been the case before.
Theory
The reform pool has various disincentives or wrong incentives compared to e.g. the German ‘Anschubfinanzierung’ for IC-contracts, which was probably a role-model for the Austrian reformpool, because of the underlying differences in the healthcare system and the distinct differences in the regulation. For example, the ‘Anschubfinanzierung’ in Germany withdraws money from the available funds for contract physicians to finance IC-projects, whereas in Austria, their fees are fixed. So in Austria, there is no incentive to retrieve money by participating in such projects. For the stakeholders supplying the pool, mainly the sickness funds and the regions, many projects inflict additional costs on the one or on the other in the future. So as both parties have to agree on projects, there is a strong basic disincentive to grant funds in the present. If a project is in both their interest because it is reducing costs, the care providers might not be interested to participate, as this would diminish their revenues in the future. What is more, the federal control over the (region-based) funds and projects is poor, which might lead to duplication of efforts and missing scale-efficiency in some regions.
Methods and data
For our analysis, we conducted a survey with a standardised questionnaire sent to the management of the regional health funds, which are responsible for the reformpool funds. The questionnaire was checked by experts of the federal association of social security institutions. We also conducted an on-site visit of the reformpool-manager, a programme which can be used to evaluate the reformpool-projects. In addition, we used all available evaluation reports of projects to assess the situation of evaluation of the projects. Furthermore, we used financial data from the regional health funds, the federal association of social security institutions, from the ministry of health and the regional health funds to assess the usage of the reformpool.
(Preliminary) Results
The qualitative results are mixed. Some projects are promising with regard to improvements of the current situation and are well evaluated. Many projects neglect the requirement of the reformpool to be such as to yield a monetary benefit for the system but only focus on improving service delivery. Some evaluations are not well operationalised and thus, arguments why these projects should be transformed to ordinarily financed services will be lacking. The reformpool activity set on very slowly, with only one project already started in 2005, the first possible year. In 2007 we see the highest number (23) of new projects granted and the highest monetary volume, €11 Mio total for 21 of them 1, with activity subsiding in 2008 (6 projects with a volume of € 2.5 Mio total for 5 of them 1) and most certainly in 2009 (with diminishing tax revenues and health insurance contributions) with only one project granted in the first quarter of the year. Of all funds (theoretically) available, only about 16% have been put to use in a reformpool project per year, with high variation (e.g. in the region of Styria over 30%, in Tyrol only 1.5%).
(Preliminary) Conclusions
From our study we can tell that the instrument of reformpool was not devised well concerning its incentive structure, and the interest to conduct such projects is diminishing. Stricter control of the requirements by the federal level, more pronounced requirements, a dedication of the funds to projects instead of a virtual budget and more cooperation between regions could improve the effectiveness of the instrument. Conflicts of interest: The project was funded by the federal association of social security institutions. All authors are researchers at the IHS and hold no commercial interests in the subject. Additional information: Founded by the economist Oskar Morgenstern and the sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld, the IHS (Institute for Advanced Studies) is a non-profit post-graduate teaching and research facility in the fields of economics, sociology and politology, and one of the two Austrian institutes preparing the official economic forecast for Austria. For more than a decade, it has been one of the major research facilities in the fields of health economics and health policy in Austria.
PMCID: PMC2807071
evidence-based guidelines; quality of care
8.  The role of insurance in the achievement of universal coverage within a developing country context: South Africa as a case study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12(Suppl 1):S5.
Background
Achieving universal coverage as an objective needs to confront the reality of multiple mechanisms, with healthcare financing and provision occurring in both public and private settings. South Africa has both large and mature public and private health systems offering useful insights into how they can be effectively harmonized to optimise coverage. Private healthcare in South Africa has also gone through many phases and regulatory regimes which, through careful review, can help identify potential policy frameworks that can optimise their ability to deepen coverage in a manner that complements the basic coverage of public arrangements.
Research question
Using South Africa as a case study, this review examines whether private health systems are susceptible to regulation and therefore able to support an extension and deepening of coverage when complementing a pre-existing publicly funded and delivered health system?
Methods
The approach involves a review of different stages in the development of the South African private health system and its response to policy changes. The focus is on the time-bound characteristics of the health system and associated policy responses and opportunities. A distinction is consequently made between the early, largely unregulated, phases of development and more mature phases with alternative regulatory regimes.
Results
The private health system in South Africa has played an important supplementary role in achieving universal coverage throughout its history, but more especially in the post-Apartheid period. However, the quality of this role has been erratic, influenced predominantly by policy vacillation.
The private system expanded rapidly during the 1980s mainly due to the pre-existence of a mature health insurance system and a weakening public hospital system which could accommodate and facilitate an increased demand for private hospital services. This growth served to expand commercial interest in health insurance, in the form of regulated medical schemes, which until this point took the form of non-commercial occupational (employer-based) schemes. During the 1980s government acquiesced to industry lobbies arguing for the deregulation of health insurance from 1989, with an extreme deregulation occurring in 1994, evidently in anticipation of the change of government associated with the democratic dispensation. Dramatic unintended consequences followed, with substantial increases in provider and funder costs coinciding with uncontrolled discrimination against poor health risks.
Against significant industry opposition, including legal challenges, partial re-regulation took effect from 2000 which removed the discretion of schemes to discriminate against poor health risks. This included: the implementation of a strong regulator of health insurance; the establishment of one allowable vehicle able to provide health insurance; open enrolment, whereby schemes could not refuse membership applications; mandatory minimum benefit requirements; and a prohibition on setting contributions or premiums on the basis of health status. After a two-year lag, dramatically reduced cost trends and contributions became evident. Aside from generally tighter regulation across a range of fronts, this appears related to the need for schemes to compete more on the basis of healthcare provider costs than demographic risk profiles. Despite an incomplete reform improved equitable coverage and cost-containment was nevertheless achieved.
A more complete regulatory regime is consequently likely to deepen coverage by: further stabilising and even decreasing costs; enhanced risk pooling; and access for low income groups. This would occur if South Africa: improved the quality of free public services, thereby creating competitive constraints for medical schemes; introduced risk-equalisation, increasing the pressure on schemes to compete on the cost and quality of coverage rather than their risk profile; and through the establishment of improved price regulation.
Conclusions
The objective of universal coverage can be seen in two dimensions, horizontal extension and vertical deepening. Private systems play an important role in deepening coverage by mobilising revenue from income earners for health services over-and-above the horizontal extension role of public systems and related subsidies. South Africa provides an example of how this natural deepening occurs whether regulated or unregulated. It also demonstrates how poor regulation of mature private systems can severely undermine this role and diminish achievements below attainable levels of social protection. The mature South African system has demonstrated its sensitivity to regulatory design and responds rapidly to changes both positive and negative. When measures to enhance risk pooling are introduced, coverage is expanded and becomes increasingly fair and sustainable. When removed, however, the system becomes less stable and fair as costs rise and people with poor health status are systematically excluded from cover. This susceptibility to regulation therefore presents an opportunity to policymakers to achieve social protection objectives through the strategic management of markets rather than exclusively through less responsive systems based on tax-funded direct provision. This is especially relevant as private markets for healthcare are inevitable, with policy discretion reduced to a choice between functional or dysfunctional regimes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-S1-S5
PMCID: PMC3381693  PMID: 22992410
9.  Survey of social health insurance structure in selected countries; providing framework for basic health insurance in Iran 
Introduction and Objectives:
Health system reforms are the most strategic issue that has been seriously considered in healthcare systems in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness. The costs of health system finance in our country, lack of universal coverage in health insurance, and related issues necessitate reforms in our health system financing. The aim of this research was to prepare a structure of framework for social health insurance in Iran and conducting a comparative study in selected countries with social health insurance.
Materials and Methods:
This comparative descriptive study was conducted in three phases. The first phase of the study examined the structure of health social insurance in four countries – Germany, South Korea, Egypt, and Australia. The second phase was to develop an initial model, which was designed to determine the shared and distinguishing points of the investigated structures, for health insurance in Iran. The third phase was to validate the final research model. The developed model by the Delphi method was given to 20 professionals in financing of the health system, health economics and management of healthcare services. Their comments were collected in two stages and its validity was confirmed.
Findings:
The study of the structure of health insurance in the selected countries shows that health social insurance in different countries have different structures. Based on the findings of the present study, the current situation of the health system, and the conducted surveys, the following framework is suitable for the health social insurance system in Iran. The Health Social Insurance Organization has a unique service by having five funds of governmental employees, companies and NGOs, self-insured, villagers, and others, which serves as a nongovernmental organization under the supervision of public law and by decision- and policy-making of the Health Insurance Supreme Council. Membership in this organization is based on the nationality or residence, which the insured by paying the insurance premiums within 6-10% of their income and employment status, are entitled to use the services. Providing services to the insured are performed by indirect forms. Payments to the service providers for the fee of inpatient and outpatient services are conservative and the related diagnostic groups system.
Conclusions:
Paying attention to the importance of modification of the fragmented health insurance system and financing the country's healthcare can reduce much of the failure of the health system, including the access of the public to health services. The countries according to the degree of development, governmental, and private insurance companies and existing rules must use the appropriate structure, comprehensive approach to the structure, and financing of the health social insurance on the investigated basis and careful attention to the intersections and differentiation. Studied structures, using them in the proposed approach and taking advantages of the perspectives of different beneficiaries about discussed topics can be important and efficient in order to achieve the goals of the health social insurance.
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.145919
PMCID: PMC4275610  PMID: 25540789
Health insurance; health insurance structure; insurance; selected countries
10.  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
11.  Methods for the comparative evaluation of pharmaceuticals 
Political background
As a German novelty, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (Institut für Qualität und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen; IGWiG) was established in 2004 to, among other tasks, evaluate the benefit of pharmaceuticals. In this context it is of importance that patented pharmaceuticals are only excluded from the reference pricing system if they offer a therapeutic improvement.
The institute is commissioned by the Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss, G-BA) or by the Ministry of Health and Social Security. The German policy objective expressed by the latest health care reform (Gesetz zur Modernisierung der Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung, GMG) is to base decisions on a scientific assessment of pharmaceuticals in comparison to already available treatments. However, procedures and methods are still to be established.
Research questions and methods
This health technology assessment (HTA) report was commissioned by the German Agency for HTA at the Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DAHTA@DIMDI). It analysed criteria, procedures, and methods of comparative drug assessment in other EU-/OECD-countries. The research question was the following: How do national public institutions compare medicines in connection with pharmaceutical regulation, i.e. licensing, reimbursement and pricing of drugs?
Institutions as well as documents concerning comparative drug evaluation (e.g. regulations, guidelines) were identified through internet, systematic literature, and hand searches. Publications were selected according to pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Documents were analysed in a qualitative matter following an analytic framework that had been developed in advance. Results were summarised narratively and presented in evidence tables.
Results and discussion
Currently licensing agencies do not systematically assess a new drug's added value for patients and society. This is why many countries made post-licensing evaluation of pharmaceuticals a requirement for reimbursement or pricing decisions. Typically an explicitly designated drug review body is involved.
In all eleven countries included (Austria, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) a drug's therapeutic benefit in comparison to treatment alternatives is leading the evaluation. A medicine is classified as a therapeutic improvement if it demonstrates an improved benefit-/risk-profile compared to treatment alternatives. However, evidence of superiority to a relevant degree is requested.
Health related quality of life is considered as the most appropriate criterion for a drug's added value from patients' perspective. Review bodies in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have committed themselves to include this outcome measure whenever possible.
Pharmacological or innovative characteristics (e.g. administration route, dosage regime, new acting principle) and other advantages (e.g. taste, appearance) are considered in about half of the countries. However, in most cases these aspects rank as second line criteria for a drug's added value.
All countries except France and Switzerland perform a comparative pharmacoeconomic evaluation to analyse costs caused by a drug intervention in relation to its benefit (preferably by cost utility analysis). However, the question if a medicine is cost effective in relation to treatment alternatives is answered in a political and social context. A range of remarkably varying criteria are considered.
Countries agree that randomised controlled head-to-head trials (head-to-head RCT) with a high degree of internal and external validity provide the most reliable and least biased evidence of a drug's relative treatment effects (as do systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these RCT). Final outcome parameters reflecting long-term treatment objectives (mortality, morbidity, quality of life) are preferred to surrogate parameters. Following the concept of community effectiveness, drug review institutions also explicitly favour RCT in a "natural" design, i.e. in daily routine and country specific care settings.
The countries' requirements for pharmacoeconomic studies are similar despite some methodological inconsistencies, e.g. concerning cost calculation.
Outcomes of clinical and pharmacoeconomic analyses are largely determined by the choice of comparator. Selecting an appropriate comparative treatment is therefore crucial. In theory, the best or most cost effective therapy is regarded as appropriate comparator for clinical and economic studies. Pragmatically however, institutions accept that the drug is compared to the treatment of daily routine or to the least expensive therapy.
If a pharmaceutical offers several approved indications, in some countries all of them are assessed. Others only evaluate a drug's main indication. Canada is the only country which also considers a medicine's off-label use.
It is well known that clinical trials and pharmacoeconomic studies directly comparing a drug with adequate competitors are lacking - in quantitative as well as in qualitative terms. This is specifically the case before or shortly after marketing authorisation. Yet there is the need to support reimbursement or pricing decisions by scientific evidence. In this situation review bodies are often forced to rely on observational studies or on other internally less valid data (including expert and consensus opinions). As a second option they use statistical approaches like indirect adjusted comparisons (in Australia and the United Kingdom) and, commonly, economic modelling. However, there is consensus that results provided by these techniques need to be verified by valid head-to-head comparisons as soon as possible.
Conclusions
In the majority of countries reimbursement and pricing decisions are based on systematic and evidence-based evaluation comparing a drug's clinical and economic characteristics to daily treatment routine. However, further evaluation criteria, requirements and specific methodological issues still lack internationally consented standards.
PMCID: PMC3011319  PMID: 21289930
12.  Economic Appraisal of Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program: A Cost-Utility Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(4):e1000256.
Beate Sander and colleagues assess the cost-effectiveness of the program that provides free seasonal influenza vaccines to the entire population of Ontario, Canada.
Background
In July 2000, the province of Ontario, Canada, initiated a universal influenza immunization program (UIIP) to provide free seasonal influenza vaccines for the entire population. This is the first large-scale program of its kind worldwide. The objective of this study was to conduct an economic appraisal of Ontario's UIIP compared to a targeted influenza immunization program (TIIP).
Methods and Findings
A cost-utility analysis using Ontario health administrative data was performed. The study was informed by a companion ecological study comparing physician visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths between 1997 and 2004 in Ontario and nine other Canadian provinces offering targeted immunization programs. The relative change estimates from pre-2000 to post-2000 as observed in other provinces were applied to pre-UIIP Ontario event rates to calculate the expected number of events had Ontario continued to offer targeted immunization. Main outcome measures were quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), costs in 2006 Canadian dollars, and incremental cost-utility ratios (incremental cost per QALY gained). Program and other costs were drawn from Ontario sources. Utility weights were obtained from the literature. The incremental cost of the program per QALY gained was calculated from the health care payer perspective. Ontario's UIIP costs approximately twice as much as a targeted program but reduces influenza cases by 61% and mortality by 28%, saving an estimated 1,134 QALYs per season overall. Reducing influenza cases decreases health care services cost by 52%. Most cost savings can be attributed to hospitalizations avoided. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is Can$10,797/QALY gained. Results are most sensitive to immunization cost and number of deaths averted.
Conclusions
Universal immunization against seasonal influenza was estimated to be an economically attractive intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Annual outbreaks (epidemics) of influenza—a viral disease of the nose, throat, and airways—make millions of people ill and kill about 500,000 individuals every year. In doing so, they impose a considerable economic burden on society in terms of health care costs and lost productivity. Influenza epidemics occur because small but frequent changes in the viral proteins to which the immune system responds mean that an immune response produced one year by exposure to an influenza virus provides only partial protection against influenza the next year. Annual immunization with a vaccine that contains killed influenza viruses of the major circulating strains can boost this natural immunity and greatly reduce a person's chances of catching influenza. Consequently, many countries run seasonal influenza vaccine programs. These programs usually target people at high risk of complications from influenza and individuals likely to come into close contact with them, and people who provide essential community services. So, for example, in most Canadian provinces, targeted influenza immunization programs (TIIPs) offer free influenza vaccinations to people aged 65 years or older, to people with chronic medical conditions, and to health care workers.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some experts argue, however, that universal vaccination might provide populations with better protection from influenza. In 2000, the province of Ontario in Canada decided, therefore, to introduce a universal influenza immunization program (UIIP) to provide free influenza vaccination to everyone older than 6 months, the first large program of this kind in the world. A study published in 2008 showed that, following the introduction of the UIIP, vaccination rates in Ontario increased more than in other Canadian provinces. In addition, deaths from influenza and influenza-related use of health care facilities decreased more in Ontario than in provinces that continued to offer a TIIP. But is universal influenza vaccination good value for money? In this study, the researchers evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Ontario UIIP by comparing the health outcomes and costs associated with its introduction with the health outcomes and costs associated with a hypothetical continuation of targeted influenza immunization.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data on TIIP and UIIP vaccine uptake, physician visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations for influenza, and deaths from influenza between 1997 and 2004 in Ontario and in nine Canadian states offering TIIPs, and Ontario cost data, in their “cost-utility” analysis. This type of analysis estimates the additional cost required to generate a year of perfect health (a quality-adjusted life-year or QALY) through the introduction of an intervention. QALYs are calculated by multiplying the time spent in a certain health state by a measure of the quality of that health state. The researchers report that the cost of Ontario's UIIP was about twice as much as the cost of a TIIP for the province. However, the introduction of the UIIP reduced the number of influenza cases by nearly two-thirds and reduced deaths from influenza by more than a quarter compared with what would have been expected had the province continued to offer a TIIP, an overall saving of 1,134 QALYs. Furthermore, the reduction in influenza cases halved influenza-related health care costs, mainly because of reductions in hospitalization. Overall, this means that the additional cost to Ontario of saving one QALY through the introduction of the UIIP was Can$10,797, an “incremental cost-effectiveness ratio” of $10,797 per QALY gained.
What Do These Findings Mean?
In Canada, an intervention is considered cost-effective from the point of view of a health care purchaser if it costs less than Canadian $50,000 to gain one QALY. These findings indicate, therefore, that for Ontario the introduction of the UIIP is economically attractive. Indeed, the researchers calculate that even if the costs of the UIIP were to double, the additional cost of saving one QALY by introducing universal immunization would remain below $50,000. Other “sensitivity” analyses undertaken by the researchers also indicate that universal immunization is likely to be effective and cost-effective in Ontario if other key assumptions and/or data included in the calculations are varied within reasonable limits. Given these findings, the researchers suggest that a UIIP might be an appealing intervention in other Canadian provinces and in other high-income countries where influenza transmission and health-care costs are broadly similar to those in Ontario.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000256.
A PLoS Medicine Research Article by Kwong and colleagues describes how the introduction of universal influenza immunization in Ontario altered influenza-related health care use and deaths in the province
Wikipedia pages are available on QALYs and on cost-utility analysis (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
Bandolier, an independent online journal about evidence-based health-care, provides information about QALYs and their use in cost-utility analysis
The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has a webpage on Measuring effectiveness and cost-effectiveness: the QALY
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000256
PMCID: PMC2850382  PMID: 20386727
13.  International Monetary Fund Programs and Tuberculosis Outcomes in Post-Communist Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(7):e143.
Background
Previous studies have indicated that International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic programs have influenced health-care infrastructure in recipient countries. The post-communist Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries experienced relatively similar political and economic changes over the past two decades, and participated in IMF programs of varying size and duration. We empirically examine how IMF programs related to changes in tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates among these countries.
Methods and Findings
We performed multivariate regression of two decades of tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality data against variables potentially influencing tuberculosis program outcomes in 21 post-communist countries for which comparative data are available. After correcting for confounding variables, as well as potential detection, selection, and ecological biases, we observed that participating in an IMF program was associated with increased tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates by 13.9%, 13.2%, and 16.6%, respectively. Each additional year of participation in an IMF program was associated with increased tuberculosis mortality rates by 4.1%, and each 1% increase in IMF lending was associated with increased tuberculosis mortality rates by 0.9%. On the other hand, we estimated a decrease in tuberculosis mortality rates of 30.7% (95% confidence interval, 18.3% to 49.5%) associated with exiting the IMF programs. IMF lending did not appear to be a response to worsened health outcomes; rather, it appeared to be a precipitant of such outcomes (Granger- and Sims-causality tests), even after controlling for potential political, socioeconomic, demographic, and health-related confounders. In contrast, non-IMF lending programs were connected with decreased tuberculosis mortality rates (−7.6%, 95% confidence interval, −1.0% to −14.1%). The associations observed between tuberculosis mortality and IMF programs were similar to those observed when evaluating the impact of IMF programs on tuberculosis incidence and prevalence. While IMF programs were connected with large reductions in generalized government expenditures, tuberculosis program coverage, and the number of physicians per capita, non-IMF lending programs were not significantly associated with these variables.
Conclusions
IMF economic reform programs are associated with significantly worsened tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates in post-communist Eastern European and former Soviet countries, independent of other political, socioeconomic, demographic, and health changes in these countries. Future research should attempt to examine how IMF programs may have related to other non-tuberculosis–related health outcomes.
David Stuckler and colleagues show that, in Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries, participation in International Monetary Fund economic programs have been associated with higher mortality rates from tuberculosis.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Tuberculosis—a contagious, bacterial infection—has killed large numbers of people throughout human history. Over the last century improvements in public health began to reduce the incidence (the number of new cases in the population in a given time), prevalence (the number of infected people), and mortality rate (number of people dying each year) of tuberculosis in several countries. Many authorities thought that tuberculosis had become a disease of the past. It has become increasingly clear, however, that regions impacted by health and economic changes since the 1980s have continued to face a high and sometimes increasing burden of tuberculosis. In order to boost funding and resources for combating the global tuberculosis problem, the United Nations has set a target of halting and reversing increases in global tuberculosis incidence by 2015 as one of its Millennium Development Goals. Yet one region of the world—Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union—is not on track to achieve this goal.
Why Was This Study Done?
To achieve these targets, the World Health Organization (WHO) and tuberculosis physicians' groups promote the expansion of detection and treatment efforts against tuberculosis. But these efforts depend on the maintenance of good health infrastructure to fund and support health-care workers, clinics, and hospitals. In countries with significant financial limitations, the development and maintenance of these health system resources are often dependent upon international donations and financial lending. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major source of capital for resource-deprived countries, but it is unclear whether its economic reform programs have positive or negative effects on health and health infrastructures in recipient countries. There are indications, for example, that recipient countries sometimes reduce their public-health spending to meet the economic targets set by the IMF as conditions for its loans. In this study, the researchers examine the relationship between participating in IMF lending programs of varying sizes and durations by 21 post-communist Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries and changes in tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality in these countries during the past two decades.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To examine how participation in IMF lending programs affected tuberculosis control in these countries, the researchers developed a series of statistical models that take into account other variables (for example, directly observed therapy programs, HIV rates, military conflict, and urbanization) that might have affected tuberculosis control. Participation in an IMF program, they report, was associated with increases in tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality rate of about 15%, which corresponds to hundreds of thousands of new cases and deaths in this region. Each additional year of participation increased tuberculosis mortality rates by 4.1%; increases in the size of the IMF loan also corresponded to greater tuberculosis mortality rates. Conversely, when countries left IMF programs, tuberculosis mortality rates dropped by roughly one-third. The authors' further statistical tests indicated that IMF lending was not a positive response to worsened tuberculosis control but precipitated this adverse outcome and that lending from non-IMF sources of funding was associated with decreases in tuberculosis mortality rates. Consistent with these results, IMF (but not non-IMF) programs were associated with reductions in government expenditures, tuberculosis program coverage, and the number of doctors per capita in each country. These findings associated with mortality were also found when analyzing tuberculosis incidence and prevalence data.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that IMF economic programs are associated with significantly worsened tuberculosis control in post-communist Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries, independent of other political, health, and economic changes in these countries. Further research is needed to discover exactly which aspects of the IMF programs were associated with the adverse effects on tuberculosis control reported here and to see whether IMF loans have similar effects on tuberculosis control in other countries or on other non–tuberculosis-related health outcomes. For now, these results challenge the proposition that the forms of economic development promoted by the IMF necessarily improve public health. In particular, they put the onus on the IMF to critically evaluate the direct and indirect effects of its economic programs on public health.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050143.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Murray and King
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on all aspects of tuberculosis, including a brief history of the disease
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide several fact sheets and other information resources about tuberculosis
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) on efforts to reduce the global burden of tuberculosis, including information on the Stop TB Strategy and the 2008 report on global tuberculosis control—surveillance, planning, financing
Detailed information about the International Monetary Fund is available on its Web site
An article that asks “Does the IMF constrain health spending in poor countries?” (with a link to a response from the IMF) is provided by the Center for Global Development
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050143
PMCID: PMC2488179  PMID: 18651786
14.  African-American physicians' views on health reform: results of a survey. 
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.
PMCID: PMC2568189  PMID: 8189452
15.  The effects of the Norwegian Coordination Reform on the use of rehabilitation services: panel data analyses of service use, 2010 to 2013 
Background
In 2012 the Norwegian Coordination Reform was implemented. The main motivation was to encourage municipalities to expand local, primary health care services. From 2012 to 2014, under the Municipal Co-Financing regime, municipalities were obliged to cover 20 % of the costs of health services provided at the specialist (hospital) level. Importantly, use of rehabilitation services in private institutions was not part of the cost-sharing mechanism of Municipal Co-Financing. Rehabilitation services may be seen as quite similar in nature whether they be provided by municipalities, hospitals or private institutions. Thus, with rehabilitation patients readily “transferrable” between levels, the question is whether the reform brought with it a sought after shift towards more municipal rehabilitation and less specialist rehabilitation.
Methods
Data from the Norwegian Patient Register and from Statistics Norway/KOSTRA were utilized to gauge annual expenditures and inputs in specialist, municipal and private institution rehabilitation services respectively. Fixed effects and first difference regression analyses for the period 2010–2013 were carried out to account for certain time-invariant traits of municipalities and/or hospital regions, and results were adjusted for contemporaneous trends in local needs.
Results
Expenditures in specialist rehabilitation services declined sharply (typically by 8–10 %) from 2011 (pre-reform) to 2012 (post-reform), while expenditures in private rehabilitation services rose markedly in the same period (typically by 42–44 %). The results do not suggest any general expansion of municipal rehabilitation services.
Conclusions
The results of the analyses suggest that municipalities shift away from the use of specialist rehabilitation services and towards the use of rehabilitation services in private institutions since the latter becomes relatively cheaper (free-of charge) than both municipal and specialist services in post-reform periods (as specialist services come at a cost to municipalities post-reform). While the main goal of the reform has not materialized the results nevertheless suggest that incentives (of cost-shifting) do play a significant role in rehabilitation service use.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1564-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1564-6
PMCID: PMC4974745  PMID: 27492490
Integrated care; Health care reform; Rehabilitation services; Primary care reform; Specialist and primary health care coordination; Municipal co-financing
16.  Oral Ondansetron Administration in Emergency Departments to Children with Gastroenteritis: An Economic Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000350.
Stephen Freedman and colleagues performed a cost analysis of the routine administration of ondansetron in both the United States and Canada and show that its routine administration to eligible children in such settings could provide substantial benefit.
Background
The use of antiemetics for children with vomiting is one of the most controversial decisions in the treatment of gastroenteritis in developed countries. Ondansetron, a selective serotonin receptor antagonist, has been found to be effective in improving the success of oral rehydration therapy. However, North American and European clinical practice guidelines continue to recommend against its use, stating that evidence of cost savings would be required to support ondansetron administration. Thus, an economic analysis of the emergency department administration of ondansetron was conducted. The primary objective was to conduct a cost analysis of the routine administration of ondansetron in both the United States and Canada.
Methods and Findings
A cost analysis evaluated oral ondansetron administration to children presenting to emergency departments with vomiting and dehydration secondary to gastroenteritis from a societal and health care payer's perspective in both the US and Canada. A decision tree was developed that incorporated the frequency of vomiting, intravenous insertion, hospitalization, and emergency department revisits. Estimates of the monetary costs associated with ondansetron use, intravenous rehydration, and hospitalization were derived from administrative databases or emergency department use. The economic burden in children administered ondansetron plus oral rehydration therapy was compared to those not administered ondansetron employing deterministic and probabilistic simulations. We estimated the costs or savings to society and health care payers associated with the routine administration of ondansetron. Sensitivity analyses considered variations in costs, treatment effects, and exchange rates. In the US the administration of ondansetron to eligible children would prevent approximately 29,246 intravenous insertions and 7,220 hospitalizations annually. At the current average wholesale price, its routine administration to eligible children would annually save society US$65.6 million (US$49.1–US$81.1) and health care payers US$61.1 million (US$46.2–US$76.3). In Canada the administration of ondansetron to eligible children would prevent 4,065 intravenous insertions and 1,003 hospitalizations annually. Its routine administration would annually save society CDN$1.72 million (CDN$1.15–CDN$1.89) and the health care system CDN$1.18 million (CDN$0.88–CDN$1.41).
Conclusions
In countries where intravenous rehydration is often employed, the emergency department administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis results in significant monetary savings compared to a no-ondansetron policy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Although many episodes of gastroenteritis in children are mild and can be managed with oral fluids, including oral rehydration therapy (ORT), some cases are severe enough to require hospital admission for intravenous fluids. Administration of an antiemetic (a drug that reduces nausea and sickness) can be clinically effective, especially ondansetron, (a drug that belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin receptor antagonists), which is safer than other antiemetics, such as promethazine and prochlorperazine, and in which there is good evidence to support its effectiveness in improving the success of ORT in children with gastroenteritis. Furthermore, studies have shown that administration of ondansetron decreases the risk of further vomiting, and hence the need for intravenous rehydration, and immediate hospital admission. However, despite the proven clinical benefits of ondansetron, clinical practice guidelines continue to recommend against the use of antiemetics in gastroenteritis because the evidence of cost savings is not yet clear. Last year, the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended that such a cost analysis should be a key research priority in pediatric gastroenteritis.
Why Was This Study Done?
This study—which is an economic analysis—was conducted in response to the various calls for the need to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of ondansetron in the management of pediatric gastroenteritis.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analysed the costs of the administration of oral ondansetron in both the US and Canada, if routinely given to children with gastroenteritis-induced vomiting and dehydration in the emergency department setting. In addition, the researchers calculated the incremental cost of ondansetron per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained from a health care perspective, compared to a regimen without ondansetron administration. The authors conducted a particular type of statistical analysis, known as decision tree analysis, to compare the two treatment options—administering ondansetron and not administering ondansetron in addition to ORT, with the clinical outcomes (further vomiting, intravenous rehydration, and hospitalization) determined on the basis of the documented efficacy of ondansetron. In addition, the researchers conducted their analyses from both the societal perspective (which included all costs, both direct—the resources required to produce a service; and indirect—productivity costs) and the health care payer's perspective. The US and Canada use similar medical resources, management programs, and treatment guidelines, but as prices differ dramatically (for example, the cost of hospitalization in the US is 8-fold higher than that in Canada), the researchers conducted a separate analysis for each country.
On the basis of data from the US, the researchers found that the administration of ondansetron to eligible children would prevent approximately 29,246 intravenous insertions and 7,220 hospitalizations every year with an annual saving of US$65.6 million to society and US$61.1 million to payers of health care costs if this drug was given routinely. When using Canadian data, the researchers found that the administration of ondansetron to eligible children would prevent 4,065 intravenous insertions and 1,003 hospitalizations every year, with an annual saving of CDN$1.72 million to society and CDN$1.18 million to payers of health care costs if this drug was given routinely.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The results of this study show that the emergency department administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis results in significant monetary savings from both societal and health care perspectives compared to a policy that does not include ondansetron administration. Furthermore, the societal savings are probably an underestimate because in their model, the researchers assumed that only 10% of children with gastroenteritis presenting to an emergency department would meet eligibility criteria (in reality, this proportion would likely be higher). In addition, the researchers did not include estimates for ondansetron administration in the clinic or private office setting, as although such use is common, no estimates of eligibility and efficacy were available.
Therefore, in addition to being clinically beneficial, the administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis is also economically advantageous.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000350.
Patient UK and the US National Institutes of Health provide information for patients on ondansetron
Patient UK provides information on gastroenteritis in children
BBC Health also provides general information on gastroenteritis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contains a report on managing acute gastroenteritis among children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000350
PMCID: PMC2953527  PMID: 20967234
17.  Public Health Aspects of the Family Medicine Concepts in South Eastern Europe 
Materia Socio-Medica  2014;26(4):277-286.
Introduction:
Family medicine as a part of the primary health care is devoted to provide continuous and comprehensive health care to the individuals and families regardless of age, gender, types of diseases and affected system or part of the body. Special emphasis in such holistic approach is given to the prevention of diseases and health promotion. Family Medicine is the first step/link between doctors and patients within patients care as well as regular inspections/examinations and follow-up of the health status of healthy people. Most countries aspire to join the European Union and therefore adopting new regulations that are applied in the European Union.
Aim:
The aim of this study is to present the role and importance of family medicine, or where family medicine is today in 21 Century from the beginning of development in these countries. The study is designed as a descriptive epidemiological study with data from 10 countries of the former Communist bloc, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, just about half of them are members of the EU. We examined the following variables: socio-organizational indicators, health and educational indicators and health indicators. The data used refer to 2002 and as a source of data are used official data from reference WebPages of family medicine doctors associations, WONCA website (EURACT, EQuiP, EGPRN), WebPages of Bureau of Statistics of the countries where the research was conducted as well as the Ministries of Health.
Results:
Results indicates that the failures and shortcomings of health care organizations in Southeast Europe. Lack of money hinders the implementation of health care reform in all mentioned countries, the most of them that is more oriented to Bismarck financing system. Problems in the political, legal and economic levels are obstacles for efficient a problem reconstructing health care system toward family medicine and primary prevention interventions. The population is not enough educated for complicated enforcement for and prevention of diseases that have a heavy burden on the budget. Health insurance and payment of health services is often a problem, because the patients must be treated regardless of their insurance coverage and financial situation. The decrease in production and economic growth, as well as low gross national income in the countries with economic crisis, lead to the inability of treatment for a large number of the population. Such situation a system leads to additional debts and loans to healthcare system. Measures implemented for provision of acute curative care largely did not lead to improvements in the health status of the population. Educational and preventive measures, as well as higher standards for quality and accessibility of health care services for entire population in each country, especially those struggling are bound to joining the European Union and their implementation must start. The most A large number of medical institutions are is inefficient in health education and health promotion and must work to educate patients and families and increase the quality of preventive health services. Modernization of health care delivery and joining the European Union by increasing overall economic stability of countries is one of the primary goals of all countries in Southeast Europe.
doi:10.5455/msm.2014.26.277-286
PMCID: PMC4214812  PMID: 25395894
primary health care; modernization; education; health care objectives; financing; payment for health care services
18.  Private finance of services covered by the National Health Insurance package of benefits in Israel 
Background
Private health expenditure in systems of national health insurance has raised concern in many countries. The concern is mainly about the accessibility of care to the poor and the sick, and inequality in use and in health. The concern thus refers specifically to the care financed privately rather than to private health expenditure as defined in the national health accounts.
Objectives
To estimate the share of private finance in total use of services covered by the national package of benefits. and to relate the private finance of use to the income and health of the users.
Methods
The Central Bureau of Statistics linked the 2009 Health Survey and the 2010 Incomes Survey. Twenty-four thousand five hundred ninety-five individuals in 7175 households were included in the data. Lacking data on the share of private finance in total cost of care delivered, we calculated instead the share of uses having any private finance—beyond copayments—in total uses, in primary, secondary, paramedical and total care. The probability of any private finance in each type of care is then related, using random effect logistic regression, to income and health state.
Results
Fifteen percent of all uses of care covered by the national package of benefits had any private finance. This rate ranges from 10 % in primary care, 16 % in secondary care and 31 % in paramedical care. Twelve percent of all uses of physicians’ services had any private finance, ranging from 10 % in family physicians to 20 % in pulmonologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and urologists. Controlling for health state, richer individuals are more likely to have any private finance in all types of care. Controlling for income, sick individuals (1+ chronic conditions) are 30 % in total care and 60 % in primary care more likely to have any private finance compared to healthy individuals (with no chronic conditions).
Conclusions
The national accounts’ “private health spending” (39 % of total spending in 2010) is not of much use regarding equity of and accessibility to medical care by the population. The mean share of uses financed privately in 2010, a more relevant measure, is 15 % with large variation between types of care and physicians. While, as under national health insurance, richer persons contribute more into the finance of (private) medical care , and sicker persons are more likely to use it, the solidarity principle—cross subsidization from the rich to the sick, which is a fundamental principle of national health insurance systems, is clearly violated.
doi:10.1186/s13584-015-0042-7
PMCID: PMC4692068  PMID: 26713156
19.  A layman's guide to the U.S. health care system 
Health Care Financing Review  1992;14(1):151-169.
This article provides an overview of the U.S. health care system and recent proposals for health system reform. Prepared for a 15-nation comparative study for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the article summarizes descriptive data on the financing, utilization, access, and supply of U.S. health services; analyzes health system cost growth and trends; reviews health reforms adopted in the 1980s; and discusses proposals in the current health system reform debate.
PMCID: PMC4193322  PMID: 10124436
20.  From instinct to evidence: the role of data in country decision-making in Chile 
Global Health Action  2016;9:10.3402/gha.v9.32611.
Background
The Chilean health system has undergone profound reforms since 1990, while going through many political upheavals, and faced demographic, health, and economic transformations. The full information requirements to develop an evidence-informed process implied the best possible use of available data, as well as efforts for improving the information systems.
Objective
To examine, from a historical perspective, the use of data during the health reforms undertaken in Chile since 1990, and to identify the factors that have determined its utilization and improvement.
Design
A qualitative methodological approach was followed to review the case study of the Chilean experience with data on decision-making. We use as the primary source our first-hand experience as officials of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Finance during the reform period considered. Second, a literature review was conducted, using documents from official sources, historical accounts, books, policy reports, and articles about the reform process, looking for the use of data.
Findings
The Chilean health care reform process was intensive in utilization and production of information. In this context, the MOH conducted several studies, from the burden of disease, efficacy of interventions, cost-effectiveness, out-of-pocket payments, and fiscal impact to social preferences, among others. Policy and prioritization frameworks developed by international agencies influenced the use of data and the studies’ agenda.
Conclusions
Health systems in Latin America have struggled to adapt to changing health needs caused by demographic transition and economic growth. Health reforms in Chile provide lessons of this sustained effort, based on data and scientific grounds, with lights and shadows. Tradition, receptiveness to foreign ideas, and benchmarking with international data determined this approach, facilitated by the political influence of physicians and other technocrats. Besides, internationally comparable statistics are shown to play a significant role in policy debate.
doi:10.3402/gha.v9.32611
PMCID: PMC5124120  PMID: 27887667
health system; health reform; health care; AUGE; priority setting
21.  The promise of e-Health – a Canadian perspective 
Canadians value their health care system above any other social program. Canada's system of health care faces significant financial and population pressures, relating to cost, access, quality, accountability, and the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The health-system also faces certain unique challenges that include care delivery within a highly decentralised system of financing and accountability, and care delivery to a significant portion of the population sparsely distributed across a landmass of 10 million square kilometres, in areas of extreme climatic conditions. All of these challenges are significant catalysts in the development of technologies that aim to significantly mitigate or eliminate these selfsame challenges.
The system is undergoing widespread review, nationally, and within each province and territory, where the bulk of care provision is financed and managed. The challenges are being addressed by national, regional and provincial initiatives in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
The promise of e-Health lies in the manner and degree to which it can mitigate or resolve these challenges to the health system and build on advancements in ICTs supporting the development of a health infostructure. Canada is actively developing and implementing technological solutions to deliver health information and health care services across the country. These solutions, while exciting and promising, also present new challenges, particularly in regard to acceptable standards, choice of technologies, overcoming traditional jurisdictional boundaries, up-front investment, and privacy and confidentially.
Many organisations and governments are working to address these challenges. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) will play an increasingly significant role in these initiatives, as the management of health information becomes a more crucial factor in the successful delivery of health care services in the new millennium.
doi:10.1186/1476-3591-1-4
PMCID: PMC135525  PMID: 12459044
22.  “Working the System”—British American Tobacco's Influence on the European Union Treaty and Its Implications for Policy: An Analysis of Internal Tobacco Industry Documents 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(1):e1000202.
Katherine Smith and colleagues investigate the ways in which British American Tobacco influenced the European Union Treaty so that new EU policies advance the interests of major corporations, including those that produce products damaging to health.
Background
Impact assessment (IA) of all major European Union (EU) policies is now mandatory. The form of IA used has been criticised for favouring corporate interests by overemphasising economic impacts and failing to adequately assess health impacts. Our study sought to assess how, why, and in what ways corporations, and particularly the tobacco industry, influenced the EU's approach to IA.
Methods and Findings
In order to identify whether industry played a role in promoting this system of IA within the EU, we analysed internal documents from British American Tobacco (BAT) that were disclosed following a series of litigation cases in the United States. We combined this analysis with one of related literature and interviews with key informants. Our analysis demonstrates that from 1995 onwards BAT actively worked with other corporate actors to successfully promote a business-oriented form of IA that favoured large corporations. It appears that BAT favoured this form of IA because it could advance the company's European interests by establishing ground rules for policymaking that would: (i) provide an economic framework for evaluating all policy decisions, implicitly prioritising costs to businesses; (ii) secure early corporate involvement in policy discussions; (iii) bestow the corporate sector with a long-term advantage over other actors by increasing policymakers' dependence on information they supplied; and (iv) provide businesses with a persuasive means of challenging potential and existing legislation. The data reveal that an ensuing lobbying campaign, largely driven by BAT, helped secure binding changes to the EU Treaty via the Treaty of Amsterdam that required EU policymakers to minimise legislative burdens on businesses. Efforts subsequently focused on ensuring that these Treaty changes were translated into the application of a business orientated form of IA (cost–benefit analysis [CBA]) within EU policymaking procedures. Both the tobacco and chemical industries have since employed IA in apparent attempts to undermine key aspects of European policies designed to protect public health.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that BAT and its corporate allies have fundamentally altered the way in which all EU policy is made by making a business-oriented form of IA mandatory. This increases the likelihood that the EU will produce policies that advance the interests of major corporations, including those that produce products damaging to health, rather than in the interests of its citizens. Given that the public health community, focusing on health IA, has largely welcomed the increasing policy interest in IA, this suggests that urgent consideration is required of the ways in which IA can be employed to undermine, as well as support, effective public health policies.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The primary goal of public health, the branch of medicine concerned with the health of communities, is to improve lives by preventing disease. Public-health groups do this by assessing and monitoring the health of communities, by ensuring that populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective health care, and by helping to formulate public policies that safeguard human health. Until recently, most of the world's major public-health concerns related to infectious diseases. Nowadays, however, many major public-health concerns are linked to the goods made and marketed by large corporations such as fast food, alcohol, tobacco, and chemicals. In Europe, these corporations are regulated by policies drawn up both by member states and by the European Commission, the executive organ of the European Union (EU; an economic and political partnership among 27 democratic European countries). Thus, for example, the tobacco industry, which is widely recognized as a driver of the smoking epidemic, is regulated by Europe-wide tobacco control policies and member state level policies.
Why Was This Study Done?
Since 1997, the European Commission has been required by law to assess the economic, social (including health), and environmental consequences of new policy initiatives using a process called an “impact assessment” (IA). Because different types of IA examine the likely effects of policies on different aspects of daily life—a health impact assessment, for example, focuses on a policy's effect on health—the choice of IA can lead to different decisions being taken about new policies. Although the IA tool adopted by the European Commission aims to assess economic, environmental and social impacts, independent experts suggest this tool does not adequately assess health impacts. Instead, economic impacts receive the most attention, a situation that may favour the interests of large businesses. In this study, the researchers seek to identify how and why the EU's approach to IA developed. More specifically, the researchers analyze internal documents from British American Tobacco (BAT), which have been disclosed because of US litigation cases, to find out whether industry has played a role in promoting the EU's system of IA.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed 714 BAT internal documents (identified by searching the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, which contains more than 10 million internal tobacco company documents) that concerned attempts made by BAT to influence regulatory reforms in Europe. They also analyzed related literature from other sources (for example, academic publications) and interviewed 16 relevant people (including people who had worked at the European Commission). This analysis shows that from 1995, BAT worked with other businesses to promote European regulatory reforms (in particular, the establishment of a business-orientated form of IA) that favor large corporations. A lobbying campaign, initiated by BAT but involving a “policy network” of other companies, first helped to secure binding changes to the EU Treaty that require policymakers to minimize legislative burdens on businesses. The analysis shows that after achieving this goal, which BAT described as an “important victory,” further lobbying ensured that these treaty changes were translated into the implementation of a business-orientated form of IA within the EU. Both the tobacco industry and the chemical industry, the researchers argue, have since used the IA to delay and/or weaken EU legislation intended to protect public health.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that BAT and its corporate allies have fundamentally altered the way in which EU policy is made by ensuring that all significant EU policy decisions have to be assessed using a business-orientated IA. As the authors note, this situation increases the likelihood that the EU will produce policies that favor big business rather than the health of its citizens. Furthermore, these findings suggest that by establishing a network of other industries to help in lobbying for EU Treaty changes, BAT was able to distance itself from the push to establish a business-orientated IA to the extent that Commission officials were unaware of the involvement of the tobacco industry in campaigns for IA. Thus, in future, to safeguard public health, policymakers and public-health groups must pay more attention to corporate efforts to shape decision-making processes. In addition, public-health groups must take account of the ways in which IA can be used to undermine as well as support effective public-health policies and they must collaborate more closely in their efforts to ensure effective national and international policy.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/0.1371/journal.pmed.1000202.
Wikipedia has a page on public health (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
More information on the European Union (in several languages), on public health in the European Union, and on impact assessment by the European Commission is available
The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library is a public, searchable database of tobacco company internal documents detailing their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific activities
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages)
The Smoke Free Partnership contains more information about smoking prevalence in Europe and about European policies to tackle the public health issues associated with tobacco use
For more information about tobacco industry influence on policy see the 2009 World Health Organization report on tobacco industry interference with tobacco control
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000202
PMCID: PMC2797088  PMID: 20084098
23.  Single-payer health insurance systems: national myths and immovable mountains. 
Leaders in both government and the health-care industry have strong and varied opinions regarding the present US health-care system, but concur that health-care financing and organization need restructuring. The single-payer system offers the best framework for improving health-care universality, delivery, quality, access, choice, and cost effectiveness. However, the single-payer alternative often is dismissed early in debates on health-care reform. Popular aversion to collective governmental funding of health-care costs and the economic interests of the management, insurance, information, and profit sectors of the health-care industry are the critical impediments to adoption of single-payer insurance systems. This article examines the psychosocial and economic obstacles that prevent development of an efficient and effective health-care system and preclude recognition of the single-payer system as the best answer to health-care reform.
PMCID: PMC2608052  PMID: 8648657
24.  Free establishment of primary health care providers: effects on geographical equity 
Background
A reform in 2010 in Swedish primary care made it possible for private primary care providers to establish themselves freely in the country. In the former, publicly planned system, location was strictly regulated by local authorities. The goal of the new reform was to increase access and quality of health care. Critical arguments were raised that the reform could have detrimental effects on equity if the new primary health care providers chose to establish foremost in socioeconomically prosperous areas.
The aim of this study is to examine how the primary care choice reform has affected geographical equity by analysing patterns of establishment on the part of new private providers.
Methods
The basis of the design was to analyse socio-economic data on individuals who reside in the same electoral areas in which the 1411 primary health care centres in Sweden are established. Since the primary health care centres are located within 21 different county councils with different reimbursement schemes, we controlled for possible cluster effects utilizing generalized estimating equations modelling. The empirical material used in the analysis is a cross-sectional data set containing socio-economic data of the geographical areas in which all primary health care centres are established.
Results
When controlling for the effects of the county council regulation, primary health care centres established after the primary care choice reform were found to be located in areas with significantly fewer older adults living alone as well as fewer single parents – groups which generally have lower socio-economic status and high health care needs. However, no significant effects were observed for other socio-economic variables such as mean income, percentage of immigrants, education, unemployment, and children <5 years.
Conclusions
The primary care choice reform seems to have had some negative effects on geographical equity, even though these seem relatively minor.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1259-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1259-z
PMCID: PMC4724405  PMID: 26803298
Patient choice; Equity; Marketization; Sweden; Primary health care; Geographic location
25.  When Health Systems Are Barriers to Health Care: Challenges Faced by Uninsured Mexican Kidney Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54380.
Background
Chronic Kidney Disease disproportionately affects the poor in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Mexico exemplifies the difficulties faced in supporting Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) and providing equitable patient care, despite recent attempts at health reform. The objective of this study is to document the challenges faced by uninsured, poor Mexican families when attempting to access RRT.
Methods
The article takes an ethnographic approach, using interviewing and observation to generate detailed accounts of the problems that accompany attempts to secure care. The study, based in the state of Jalisco, comprised interviews with patients, their caregivers, health and social care professionals, among others. Observations were carried out in both clinical and social settings.
Results
In the absence of organised health information and stable pathways to renal care, patients and their families work extraordinarily hard and at great expense to secure care in a mixed public-private healthcare system. As part of this work, they must navigate challenging health and social care environments, negotiate treatments and costs, resource and finance healthcare and manage a wide range of formal and informal health information.
Conclusions
Examining commonalities across pathways to adequate healthcare reveals major failings in the Mexican system. These systemic problems serve to reproduce and deepen health inequalities. A system, in which the costs of renal care are disproportionately borne by those who can least afford them, faces major difficulties around the sustainability and resourcing of RRTs. Attempts to increase access to renal therapies, therefore, need to take into account the complex social and economic demands this places on those who need access most. This paper further shows that ethnographic studies of the concrete ways in which healthcare is accessed in practice provide important insights into the plight of CKD patients and so constitute an important source of evidence in that effort.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054380
PMCID: PMC3551810  PMID: 23349868

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