Financial incentives and drug spending in managed care.
This study estimates the impact of patient financial incentives on the use and cost of prescription drugs in the context of differing physician payment mechanisms. A large data set was developed that covers persons in managed care who pay varying levels of cost sharing and whose physicians are compensated under two different models: independent practice association (IPA)-model and network-model health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Our results indicate that higher patient copayments for prescription drugs are associated with lower drug spending in IPA models (in which physicians are not at risk for drug costs) but have little effect in network models (in which physicians bear financial risk for all prescribing behavior). (+info)
Who bears the burden of Medicaid drug copayment policies?
This DataWatch examines the impact of Medicaid prescription drug copayment policies in thirty-eight states using survey data from the 1992 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Findings indicate that elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients who reside in states with copay provisions have significantly lower rates of drug use than their counterparts in states without copayments. After controlling for other factors, we find that the primary effect of copayments is to reduce the likelihood that Medicaid recipients fill any prescription during the year. This burden falls disproportionately on recipients in poor health. (+info)
User charges in government health facilities in Kenya: effect on attendance and revenue.
In this paper we study demand effects of user charges in a district health care system using cross-sectional data from household and facility surveys. The effects are examined in public as well as in private health facilities. We also look briefly at the impact of fees on revenue and service quality in government facilities. During the period of cost-sharing in public clinics, attendance dropped by about 50%. This drop prompted the government to suspend the fees for approximately 20 months. Over the 7 months after suspension of fees, attendance at government health centres increased by 41%. The suspension further caused a notable movement of patients from the private sector to government health facilities. The revenue generated by user fees covered 2.4% of the recurrent health budget. Some 40% of the facilities did not spend the fee revenue they collected, mainly due to cumbersome procedures of expenditure approvals. The paper concludes with lessons from Kenya's experience with user charges. (+info)
The impact of alternative cost recovery schemes on access and equity in Niger.
The authors examine accessibility and the sustainability of quality health care in a rural setting under two alternative cost recovery methods, a fee-for-service method and a type of social financing (risk-sharing) strategy based on an annual tax+fee-for-service. Both methods were accompanied by similar interventions aimed at improving the quality of primary health services. Based on pilot tests of cost recovery in the non-hospital sector in Niger, the article presents results from baseline and final survey data, as well as from facility utilization, cost, and revenue data collected in two test districts and a control district. Cost recovery accompanied by quality improvements increases equity and access to health care and the type of cost recovery method used can make a difference. In Niger, higher access for women, children, and the poor resulted from the tax+fee method, than from the pure fee-for-service method. Moreover, revenue generation per capita under the tax+fee method was two times higher than under the fee-for-service method, suggesting that the prospects of sustainability were better under the social financing strategy. However, sustainability under cost recovery and improved quality depends as much on policy measures aimed at cost containment, particularly for drugs, as on specific cost recovery methods. (+info)
Protecting the poor under cost recovery: the role of means testing.
In African health sectors, the importance of protecting the very poor has been underscored by increased reliance on user fees to help finance services. This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding the role means testing can play in promoting equity under health care cost recovery. Means testing is placed in the broader context of targeting and contrasted with other mechanisms. Criteria for evaluating outcomes are established and used to analyze previous means testing experience in Africa. A survey of experience finds a general pattern of informal, low-accuracy, low-cost means testing in Africa. Detailed household data from a recent cost recovery experiment in Niger, West Africa, provides an unusual opportunity to observe outcomes of a characteristically informal means testing system. Findings from Niger suggest that achieving both the revenue raising and equity potential of cost recovery in sub-Saharan Africa will require finding ways to improve informal means testing processes. (+info)
Improving quality through cost recovery in Niger.
New evidence on the quality of health care from public services in Niger is discussed in terms of the relationships between quality, costs, cost-effectiveness and financing. Although structural attributes of quality appeared to improve with the pilot project in Niger, significant gaps in the implementation of diagnostic and treatment protocols were observed, particularly in monitoring vital signs, diagnostic examination and provider-patient communications. Quality improvements required significant investments in both fixed and variable costs; however, many of these costs were basic input requirements for operation. It is likely that optimal cost-effectiveness of services was not achieved because of the noted deficiencies in quality. In the test district of Boboye, the revenues from the copayments alone covered about 34% of the costs of medicines or about 20% of costs of drugs and administration. In Say, user fees covered about 50-55% of the costs of medicines or 35-40% of the amount spent on medicines and cost-recovery administration. In Boboye, taxes plus the additional copayments covered 120-180% of the cost of medicines, or 75-105% of the cost of medicines plus administration of cost recovery. Decentralized management and legal conditions in the pilot districts appeared to provide the necessary structure to ensure that the revenues and taxes collected would be channelled to pay for quality improvements. (+info)
esearch note: does cost recovery for curative care affect preventive care utilization?
Research note: price uncertainty and the demand for health care.(8/393)