Contents tagged: integrated health services

April 4, 2016 Global Publication

The MDG To SDG Transition: the role of hospitals and integrated primary care.

In 2016, the world will be moving from the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Regarding health-related goals, most of the funding in recent years has been focusing on disease-specific programmes and strengthening primary care; nevertheless, public health, health promotion, prevention, and controlling risk factors through a broad range of policy interventions, both within and outside the health sector, must be an important focus in the era of SDGs.

In this post, integrated health services are seen as a main factor to achieve the health-related topics in the SDGs. The author defends not only strong primary care services to deliver broad quality care, but also that these services should be integrated with essential hospital services. The article emphasizes that this kind of integration would be even more important in countries with a weak health system, in order to build a strong system that could face the ...

March 30, 2016 Global Event

4th International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-term Care

The 4th International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-term Care will be held from 4th to 7th of September 2016 at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London. Building on the success of the three previous editions, the conference will focus on empirical research with direct relevance to long-term care policy offering an opportunity to debate with international experts policy issues related to the organisation, delivery, funding and regulation of long-term care services.

Some of the main thematic areas to be covered include: care models; case management; economics of long-term care; equity and efficiency; funding systems; health and social care integration; housing and care; institutional dynamics and politics; international comparative analysis; local vs. central policy interactions; personalisation of the care system; policy implications of dementia; service commissioning and regulation; technology and long-term care; unpaid carers; workforce and migrant workers. Abstracts on other relevant LTC policy evaluation topics will ...

March 18, 2016 Africa, Europe, Western Pacific, Global Publication

Barriers and enablers to integrating maternal and child health services to antenatal care in low and middle income countries

For most women in low and middle income countries (LMIC), antenatal care (ANC) plays a highly important dual role: not only does ANC provide effective interventions to reduce the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it can also serve as a delivery platform for other health services. Particularly in settings where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria is high, integrating services for these conditions with ANC can significantly expand their reach. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified integration of ANC with other health programmes as a key strategy for reducing missed opportunities for patient contact and improving maternal and child health (MCH). Evidence from the countries studied, however, suggests that in practice integrated delivery of ANC with other health services is not systematic or adequate and that opportunities for providing care for women are lost.

Several factors enable or hinder the ...

March 16, 2016 Global Publication

Five principles behind the world’s most efficient health systems

Efficiency is said to be one of the main characteristics of sustainable health systems. In this article posted in Nuffield Trust’s Blog some of the key points that drive health systems towards efficiency are described: 1) integrated pharmacy, community and primary care; 2) hospitals as health systems; 3) standardize, simplify through IT, then shift the skill mix; 4) political courage, take social care seriously; 5) a dominant payer deliver a better health, care and value.

In this article, integrated care is mentioned not only as a health care issue, but also as a way of giving social care the importance it has. Israel health system is mentioned as an example of how integrated services could be a way to achieve efficiency in health care services.

March 1, 2016 Global Publication

WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services

This interim report, the WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services, presents a compelling case for a people-centred and integrated health services approach, along with a look at the way forward. It is accompanied by the document "People-centred and integrated health services: an overview of the evidence".

The global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services builds on the lessons learned in recent decades and offers a way forward for comprehensive health systems design. Recognizing that health systems are highly context-specific, this strategy does not propose a single model of people-centred and integrated health. Instead, a common set of principles and five strategies are presented to enhance countries’ efforts to better coordinate care around people’s needs. The strategy is based on experience gained in different countries over the last few years, as well as on wide-ranging consultation with experts at the global, regional and national level, informed ...

Feb. 17, 2016 Americas Publication

Unintended costs of health care integration.

Decreasing -or, at least, containing- costs is one of the most important values usually attributed to health services integration. In this post published in the Harvard Medical School website, cost containing is questioned according to a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine, where researchers describe how anual outpatient spending has grown in some integrated areas by 3.1 percentage point even when changes in use of outpatient care were minimal.

In this text, the author hypothesizes that integration between physicians and hospitals turn their position with insurers stronger, specially for prices of outpatient care. Health care integration may, in some situations, promote positions of power in the market, so that could have an influence in price negotiation and healthcare spending.

This unexpected cost increasing should be considered when designing integrated care policies and incentives, in order to avoid unintended spending cost that could threaten the sustainability of integrated health services.

Feb. 9, 2016 Global Publication

Framework on integrated, people-centred health services

This Framework proposes five interdependent strategies for health services to become more integrated and people-centred. It calls for reforms to reorient health services, putting individuals, families, carers and communities at their centre, supported by responsive services that better meet their needs and respect their preferences, and that are coordinated both within and beyond the health sector, irrespective of country setting or development status. These reforms also incorporate a human rights approach, enshrining access to health care as a basic right, without distinction of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability, political belief, and economic or social condition.

This document builds on the interim WHO Strategy on people-centred and integrated health services, published by the WHO in March 2015. It  incorporates the comments and suggestions gathered through a broad stakeholder consultation process: a web based-public consultation open to individuals and organizations (closed October 2015) and regional and Member State consultations (ongoing). The Framework ...

Jan. 14, 2016 Americas Publication

Integrated health systems and cost: accountability and price control are also important.

Integrated Health Services are frequently thought as a tool to decrease healthcare-related costs, specially in systems with a high level of fragmentation. In the US healthcare system reform, Medicare has often been used as a reference point of the overall health expenditure. In this post, this hypothesis is analysed according to a recent article from the National Bureau of Economic Research ("The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured") where the authors review the costs of 306 Hospital Referral Regions in the US, showing a big discordance between Medicare costs and overall costs.

In the analysis of Josh Freeman it is said that the dominant position of some integrated health services in some regions is used to perform very efficient healthcare provission in the Medicare level but also to increase the rates to private insurers.

June 1, 2015 Publication

Integrated health service delivery networks: concepts, policy options and a road map for implementation in the Americas

Health systems in the Americas are characterized by highly fragmented health services. Experience to date demonstrates that excessive fragmentation leads to difficulties in access to services, delivery of services of poor technical quality, irrational and inefficient use of available resources, unnecessary increases in production costs, and low user satisfaction with services received. (...) The region is home to several good practices in the creation of Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks (IHSDNs), especially in countries like Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica and Cuba, which have traditionally supported the development of networks. Other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are adopting similar policies to organize their health services. Despite these efforts, addressing fragmentation and providing more equitable, comprehensive, integrated, and continuous health services remain significant challenges for the majority of countries in the Americas.