(1/1951) Risk-adjusted capitation based on the Diagnostic Cost Group Model: an empirical evaluation with health survey information.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the predictive accuracy of the Diagnostic Cost Group (DCG) model using health survey information. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Longitudinal data collected for a sample of members of a Dutch sickness fund. In the Netherlands the sickness funds provide compulsory health insurance coverage for the 60 percent of the population in the lowest income brackets. STUDY DESIGN: A demographic model and DCG capitation models are estimated by means of ordinary least squares, with an individual's annual healthcare expenditures in 1994 as the dependent variable. For subgroups based on health survey information, costs predicted by the models are compared with actual costs. Using stepwise regression procedures a subset of relevant survey variables that could improve the predictive accuracy of the three-year DCG model was identified. Capitation models were extended with these variables. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: For the empirical analysis, panel data of sickness fund members were used that contained demographic information, annual healthcare expenditures, and diagnostic information from hospitalizations for each member. In 1993, a mailed health survey was conducted among a random sample of 15,000 persons in the panel data set, with a 70 percent response rate. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The predictive accuracy of the demographic model improves when it is extended with diagnostic information from prior hospitalizations (DCGs). A subset of survey variables further improves the predictive accuracy of the DCG capitation models. The predictable profits and losses based on survey information for the DCG models are smaller than for the demographic model. Most persons with predictable losses based on health survey information were not hospitalized in the preceding year. CONCLUSIONS: The use of diagnostic information from prior hospitalizations is a promising option for improving the demographic capitation payment formula. This study suggests that diagnostic information from outpatient utilization is complementary to DCGs in predicting future costs.  (+info)

(2/1951) Disease eradication and health systems development.

This article provides a framework for the design of future eradication programmes so that the greatest benefit accrues to health systems development from the implementation of such programmes. The framework focuses on weak and fragile health systems and assumes that eradication leads to the cessation of the intervention required to eradicate the disease. Five major components of health systems are identified and key elements which are of particular relevance to eradication initiatives are defined. The dearth of documentation which can provide "lessons learned" in this area is illustrated with a brief review of the literature. Opportunities and threats, which can be addressed during the design of eradication programmes, are described and a number of recommendations are outlined. It is emphasized that this framework pertains to eradication programmes but may be useful in attempts to coordinate vertical and horizontal disease control activities for maximum mutual benefits.  (+info)

(3/1951) Perspectives from the dracunculiasis eradication programme.

After a slow beginning in association with the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990), the global Dracunculiasis Eradication Programme has reduced the incidence of dracunculiasis by nearly 97%, from an estimated 3.2 million cases in 1986 to less than 100,000 cases in 1997. Over half of the remaining cases are in Sudan. In addition, the programme has already produced many indirect benefits such as improved agricultural production and school attendance, extensive provision of clean drinking-water, mobilization of endemic communities, and improved care of infants. Most workers in the campaign have other responsibilities in their communities or ministries of health besides dracunculiasis eradication.  (+info)

(4/1951) Candidate parasitic diseases.

This paper discusses five parasitic diseases: American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dracunculiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis. The available technology and health infrastructures in developing countries permit the eradication of dracunculiasis and the elimination of lymphatic filariasis due to Wuchereria bancrofti. Blindness due to onchocerciasis and transmission of this disease will be prevented in eleven West African countries; transmission of Chagas disease will be interrupted. A well-coordinated international effort is required to ensure that scarce resources are not wasted, efforts are not duplicated, and planned national programmes are well supported.  (+info)

(5/1951) A national program for control of acute respiratory tract infections: the Philippine experience.

Maturing programs on child immunization and diarrheal diseases, a community-based research project, and a rational drug-use program facilitated the launching in 1989 of a nationwide Philippine Control of Acute Respiratory Infections program (Phil-CARI). From 1990 to 1991 the Phil-CARI expanded rapidly, training >80% of its middle managers and frontline health care providers on the case-management protocols of the World Health Organization for acute respiratory infection. Multiple donors and good collaboration with various societies and medical schools assisted the program. However, by 1992, there were difficulties in maintaining training quality, follow-up, and supervision. Donor assistance dwindled and the health care delivery system decentralized. Government procurement systems were unable to meet the logistics demands of the program. The monitoring and evaluation system was inadequate to measure impact. The Phil-CARI provides lessons in searching for more sustainable approaches and systems to meet the various demands of a nationwide ARI control program and to create the desired impact.  (+info)

(6/1951) The cost of obesity in Canada.

BACKGROUND: Almost one-third of adult Canadians are at increased risk of disability, disease and premature death because of being obese. In order to allocate limited health care resources rationally, it is necessary to elucidate the economic burden of obesity. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the direct costs related to the treatment of and research into obesity in Canada in 1997. METHODS: The prevalence of obesity (body mass index of 27 or greater) in Canada was determined using data from the National Population Health Survey, 1994-1995. Ten comorbidities of obesity were identified from the medical literature. A population attributable fraction (PAF) was calculated for each comorbidity with data from large cohort studies to determine the extent to which each comorbidity and its management costs were attributable to obesity. The direct cost of each comorbidity was determined using data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (for direct expenditure categories) and from Health Canada (for the proportion of expenditure category attributable to the comorbidity). This prevalence-based approach identified the direct costs of hospital care, physician services, services of other health professionals, drugs, other health care and health research. For each comorbidity, the cost attributable to obesity was determined by multiplying the PAF by the total direct cost of the comorbidity. The overall impact of obesity was estimated as the sum of the PAF-weighted costs of treating the comorbidities. A sensitivity analysis was completed on both the estimated costs and the PAFs. RESULTS: The total direct cost of obesity in Canada in 1997 was estimated to be over $1.8 billion. This corresponded to 2.4% of the total health care expenditures for all diseases in Canada in 1997. The sensitivity analysis revealed that the total cost could be as high as $3.5 billion or as low as $829.4 million; this corresponded to 4.6% and 1.1% respectively of the total health care expenditures in 1997. When the contributions of the comorbidities to the total cost were considered, the 3 largest contributors were hypertension ($656.6 million), type 2 diabetes mellitus ($423.2 million) and coronary artery disease ($346.0 million). INTERPRETATION: A considerable proportion of health care dollars is devoted to the treatment and management of obesity-related comorbidities in Canada. Further research into the therapeutic benefits and cost-effectiveness of management strategies for obesity is required. It is anticipated that the prevention and treatment of obesity will have major positive effects on the overall cost of health care.  (+info)

(7/1951) Is health insurance in Greece in need of reform?

This paper aims to assess the relationship between insurance contributions and health benefits in Greece by using information from sickness funds' accounts. The paper argues that the fragmentation of social health insurance, and the particular ways in which sickness funds' financial services are organized, are a major source of inequity and are grossly inefficient. The survival of these systems in the 1990s cannot be explained except on grounds of inertia and corporate resistance.  (+info)

(8/1951) Health insurance in developing countries: lessons from experience.

Many developing countries are currently considering the possibility of introducing compulsory health insurance schemes. One reason is to attract more resources to the health sector. If those who, together with their employers, can pay for their health services and are made to do so by insurance, the limited tax funds can be concentrated on providing services for fewer people and thus improve coverage and raise standards. A second reason is dissatisfaction with existing services in which staff motivation is poor, resources are not used to best advantage and patients are not treated with sufficient courtesy and respect. This article describes the historical experience of the developed countries in introducing and steadily expanding the coverage of health insurance, sets out the consensus which has developed about health insurance (at least in Western European countries) and describes the different forms which health insurance can take. The aim is to bring out the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches from this experience, to set out the options for developing countries and to give warnings about the dangers of some approaches.  (+info)