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(1/318) Restructuring the primary health care services and changing profile of family physicians in Turkey.

A new health-reform process has been initiated by Ministry of Health in Turkey. The aim of that reform is to improve the health status of the Turkish population and to provide health care to all citizens in an efficient and equitable manner. The restructuring of the current health system will allow more funds to be allocated to primary and preventive care and will create a managed market for secondary and tertiary care. In this article, we review the current and proposed primary care services models and the role of family physicians therein.  (+info)

(2/318) Clinicians' satisfaction with a hospital blood transfusion service: a marketing analysis of a monopoly supplier.

One of the objectives of the NHS reforms is to improve customer focus within the health service. In a study to assess the quality of customer service provided by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Blood Transfusion Service a 19 item questionnaire survey of the main clinical users of the service was performed to ascertain their satisfaction, measured on a 5 point anchored scale, with important aspects of the service, including medical consultation, diagnostic services, blood and blood components or products and their delivery, and general satisfaction with the service. Of 122 clinicians in medical and surgical disciplines in five hospitals in Edinburgh, 72 (59%) replied. Fourteen (22%) indicated dissatisfaction with any aspect of the medical consultation service, owing to inadequate follow up of clinical contacts and unsatisfactory routing of incoming calls. Diagnostic services were criticised for the presentation, communication, and interpretation of results. The restricted availability of whole blood, the necessity to order platelets and plasma through the duty blood transfusion service doctor, and the use of a group and screen policy, attracted criticism from a small number of clinicians. Ten of 68 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with delivery of blood and components to the wards and theatres. The findings indicate that the clinicians served by this blood transfusion service are largely satisfied with the service. Changes are being implemented to improve reporting of laboratory results and measures taken to improve liaison with clinicians.  (+info)

(3/318) The state of health planning in the '90s.

The art of health planning is relatively new in many developing countries and its record is not brilliant. However, for policy makers committed to sustainable health improvements and the principle of equity, it is an essential process, and in need of improvement rather than minimalization. The article argues that the possibility of planning playing a proper role in health care allocative decisions is increasingly being endangered by a number of developments. These include the increasing use of projects, inappropriate decentralization policies, and the increasing attention being given to NGOs. More serious is the rise of New Right thinking which is undermining the role of the State altogether in health care provision. The article discusses these developments and makes suggestions as to possible action needed to counteract them.  (+info)

(4/318) Health education for a breast and cervical cancer screening program: using the ecological model to assess local initiatives.

This study investigates the development and implementation of health education strategies at the local level for a statewide breast and cervical cancer control program. Baseline data on these initiatives were collected from 88 local screening programs in North Carolina. Using the ecological model as a framework, health education initiatives were assessed and analyzed to determine the level of activity occurring at the local level and the comprehensiveness of programs. Types and levels of interventions used are described and initial analysis is provided of the impact these strategies are having on recruiting women from target populations into these screening programs. Specific examples illustrating the variety of interventions used at the individual, network, organizational and community levels, and the impact of certain variables, such as the use of local health education staff, on the comprehensiveness of interventions utilized, are provided. The importance to practitioners of establishing process indicators in assessing local initiatives and challenges to conducting evaluations of these strategies are also discussed.  (+info)

(5/318) Device evaluation and coverage policy in workers' compensation: examples from Washington State.

Workers' compensation health benefits are broader than general health benefits and include payment for medical and rehabilitation costs, associated indemnity (lost time) costs, and vocational rehabilitation (return-to-work) costs. In addition, cost liability is for the life of the claim (injury), rather than for each plan year. We examined device evaluation and coverage policy in workers' compensation over a 10-year period in Washington State. Most requests for device coverage in workers' compensation relate to the diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of chronic musculoskeletal conditions. A number of specific problems have been recognized in making device coverage decisions within workers' compensation: (1) invasive devices with a high adverse event profile and history of poor outcomes could significantly increase both indemnity and medical costs; (2) many noninvasive devices, while having a low adverse event profile, have not proved effective for managing chronic musculoskeletal conditions relevant to injured workers; (3) some devices are marketed and billed as surrogate diagnostic tests for generally accepted, and more clearly proven, standard tests; (4) quality oversight of technology use among physicians may be inadequate; and (5) insurers' access to efficacy data adequate to make timely and appropriate coverage decisions in workers' compensation is often lacking. Emerging technology may substantially increase the costs of workers' compensation without significant evidence of health benefit for injured workers. To prevent ever-rising costs, we need to increase provider education and patient education and consent, involve the state medical society in coverage policy, and collect relevant outcomes data from healthcare providers.  (+info)

(6/318) Perceived financial incentives, HMO market penetration, and physicians' practice styles and satisfaction.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effects of physicians' personal financial incentives and other measures of involvement with HMOs on three measures of satisfaction and practice style: overall practice satisfaction, the extent to which prior expectations about professional autonomy and the ability to practice good-quality medicine are met, and several specific measures of practice style. DATA SOURCES: A telephone survey conducted in 1997 of 1,549 physicians who were located in the 75 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in 1991. Eligible physicians were under age 52, had between 8 and 17 years of post-residency practice experience, and spent at least 20 hours per week in patient care. The response rate was 74 percent. STUDY DESIGN: Multivariate binomial and multinomial ordered logistic regression models were estimated. Independent variables included physicians' self-reported financial incentives, measured by the extent to which their overall financial arrangements created an incentive to either reduce or increase services to patients, the level of HMO penetration in the market, employment setting, medical specialty, exposure to managed care while in medical training, and selected personal characteristics. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: About 15 percent of survey respondents reported a moderate or strong incentive to reduce services; 70 percent reported a neutral incentive; and 15 percent reported an incentive to increase services. Compared to physicians with a neutral incentive, physicians with an incentive to reduce services were from 1.5 to 3.5 times more likely to be very dissatisfied with their practices and were 0.2 to 0.5 times as likely to report that their expectations regarding professional autonomy and ability to practice good-quality medicine were met. They were also 0.2 to 0.6 times as likely to report having the freedom to care for patients the way they would like along several specific measures of practice style, such as sufficient time with patients, ability to hospitalize, ability to order tests and procedures, and ability to make referrals. These effects were generally reinforced by practicing in an area with a high level of HMO penetration and were offset to some extent by having had exposure to HMOs and the practice of cost-effective medicine while in medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Although financial incentives to reduce services are not widespread, there is a legitimate reason to be concerned about possible adverse affects on the quality of care. More research is needed to investigate directly whether changes in patients' health are affected by their physicians' financial incentives.  (+info)

(7/318) The adoption of provider-based rural health clinics by rural hospitals: a study of market and institutional forces.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the response of rural hospitals to various market and organizational signals by determining the factors that influence whether or not they establish a provider-based rural health clinic (RHC) (a joint Medicare/Medicaid program). DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Several secondary sources for 1989-1995: the AHA Annual Survey, the PPS Minimum Data Set and a list of RHCs from HCFA, the Area Resource File, and professional associations. The analysis includes all general medical/surgical rural hospitals operating in the United States during the study period. STUDY DESIGN: A longitudinal design and pooled cross-sectional data were used, with the rural hospital as the unit of analysis. Key variables were examined as sets and include measures of competitive pressures (e.g., hospital market share), physician resources, nurse practitioner/physician assistant (NP/PA) practice regulation, hospital performance pressures (e.g., operating margin), innovativeness, and institutional pressure (i.e., the cumulative force of adoption). PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Adoption of provider-based RHCs by rural hospitals appears to be motivated less as an adaptive response to observable economic or internal organizational signals than as a reaction to bandwagon pressures. CONCLUSIONS: Rural hospitals with limited resources may resort to imitating others because of uncertainty or a limited ability to fully evaluate strategic activities. This can result in actions or behaviors that are not consistent with policy objectives and the perceived need for policy changes. Such activity in turn could have a negative effect on some providers and some rural residents.  (+info)

(8/318) Financial and organizational determinants of hospital diversification into subacute care.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the financial, market, and organizational determinants of hospital diversification into subacute inpatient care by acute care hospitals in order to guide hospital managers in undertaking such diversification efforts. STUDY SETTING: All nongovernment, general, acute care, community hospitals that were operating during the years 1985 through 1991 (3,986 hospitals in total). DATA SOURCES: Cross-sectional, time-series data were drawn from the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Annual Survey of Hospitals, the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) Medicare Cost Reports, a latitude and longitude listing for all community hospital addresses, and the Area Resource File (ARF) published in 1992, which provides county level environmental variables. STUDY DESIGN: The study is longitudinal, enabling the specification of temporal patterns in conversion, causal inferences, and the treatment of right-censoring problems. The unit of analysis is the individual hospital. KEY FINDINGS: Significant differences were found in the average level of subacute care offered by investor-owned versus tax-exempt hospitals. After controlling for selection bias, financial performance, risk, size, occupancy, and other variables, IO hospitals offered 31.3 percent less subacute care than did NFP hospitals. Financial performance and risk are predictors of IO hospitals' diversification into subacute care, but not of NFP hospitals' activities in this market. Resource availability appears to expedite expansion into subacute care for both types of hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: Investment criteria and strategy differ between investor-owned and tax-exempt hospitals.  (+info)