Master Class on Care Pathways

21-23 September 2017, Venice, Italy

The European Pathway Association is organising an International Master Class on Care Pathways and the Organisation of Care Processes. This two day event will focus less on pathway basics (unlike previous master classes), but will make the link with other relevant and current topics (Triple Aim, Pathways for health, Value Based Healthcare etc).

For more information and registration on the Master Class on Care Pathways on the e-p-a.org website

Health at a Glance

There are two new reports from the OECD in the ‘Health at a Glance’ series:

Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 which is the fourth edition looking at health in the EU and presents key indicators of health and health systems in the 28 EU countries, 5 candidate countries to the EU and 3 EFTA countries.

Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2016 which presents key indicators of health status, the determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health care expenditure and financing, and health care quality across 27 Asia-Pacific countries and economies.

Download the Health in Europe report and the Health in Asia/Pacific report from the keepeek.com website

UK-based researchers benefit from latest EU funding

Fifty-nine UK-based researchers are to receive up to €1.5 million (£1.3m) each to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas under the EU’s European Research Council (ERC) latest round of starting grants. These grants come from the ‘excellent science’ pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.

The UK is the second biggest beneficiary of this round after Germany who is hosting 61 beneficiaries.

The ERC offers three core grant schemes:

  • Starting grants encourage young talented research leaders to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers.
  • Consolidator grants back up researchers who want to establish their research teams and continue developing a successful career in Europe.
  • Advanced grants allow outstanding research leaders to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe. The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders.

More information about EU grants for research can be found on the ec.europa.eu website

Training in medicine pricing policies

A summer school on pharmaceutical pricing – the first of its kind – helped train high-level civil servants in the WHO European Region responsible for shaping and implementing policies on pricing medicines.

The Austrian Health Institute organized the five-day course, which ran from the 29th August to 2nd September, and 36 participants from 20 countries learnt about medicine pricing across Europe, funding and reimbursement models, methods for comparing and analysing prices, and the benefits and limitations of various policies.

For more information on the course and pharmaceutical pricing on the euro.who.int website

Pharmaceutical Expenditure And Policies

Across OECD countries, pharmaceutical spending was around US$800 billion in 2013, accounting for about 20% of total health spending on average (hospital consumption and retail).

This paper ‘Pharmaceutical expenditure and policies: past trends and future challenges‘ examines the drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes. While the consumption of medicines continues to increase and to push pharmaceutical spending up, cost-containment policies and patent expiries of a number of top-selling products have exerted downward pressure on pharmaceutical expenditures in recent years.

The paper also looks at emerging challenges for policy makers in the management of pharmaceutical spending. The proliferation of high-cost specialty medicines will be a major driver of health spending growth in the coming years. While some of these medicines bring great benefits to patients, others provide only marginal improvements. This challenges the efficiency of pharmaceutical spending.

To download the paper on pharmaceutical expenditure from the oecd-ilibrary.org website

OECD Health Statistics 2016

The online database ‘OECD health statistics 2016‘ has been released and offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries.

It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems. It includes data on biotechnology, cancer, health care, health spending, health insurance, fitness, dementia, disability, obesity, smoking, genetics and mortality.

For more information on Health Statistics 2016 on the oecd.org website.

Better Ways to Pay for Health Care

The OECD has just published ‘Better ways to pay for health care‘ as part of their Health Policy Studies series.

This publication points out that payers for health care are trying a variety of policies as part of broader efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care. Any reform requires other measures to be in place, such as well-developed stakeholder involvement, clear criteria for tariff setting and the embedding of evaluation.

Evidence-based clinical guidelines and outcomes are increasingly being used to inform price setting, which could encourage better use of evidence and a patient-centred approach – both of which are important to improve health care delivery and performance in the long run.

To download Better ways to pay for health care from the oecd-ilibrary.org website

Investing in innovative health solutions

The health sector represents 10% of the EU’s GDP and accounts for 8% of the total European workforce.
It is a vital economic sector strongly driven by innovation and is a growth-friendly area for investment.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can support investment in innovative health solutions, new effective medicines and social infrastructures. Examples of investment include:
  • Spain: €100 million for research and development to improve medical treatment for conditions including Alzheimer’s, vascular and cardiovascular surgery.
  • UK: €148 million towards the construction of a new teaching hospital in a brown field site.
  • Ireland: €70 million towards the construction of new primary healthcare centres across Ireland.

For more information about funds for investment in innovative health solutions on the ec.europa.eu website

Reforming Dutch long-term care

The Dutch health system has been undergoing transformational reform since the mid-2000s. The 2006 reform introduced managed competition as a driving mechanism in health care. Ten years of gradual implementation have changed and continue to change the health care system and the role of stakeholders.

A second major reform in long term care (2015) aimed to move citizens away from publicly provided care, urging citizens to be more self-reliant, while also placing broader responsibilities on municipalities.

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has produced a new review of the Dutch health system that gives an up-to-date assessment on both reforms, and the Dutch health system in general, and discusses important challenges for the future.

For more information about the Reform of the Dutch health system  and to download the review on the euro.who.int website

Voluntary health insurance in Europe

Most health systems face fiscal constraints and Voluntary Health Insurance (VHI) is often seen as a way to address these pressures.

This study by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies draws on the experiences of 34 countries to assess VHI’s contribution to health spending and to understand its role in Europe and in relation to publicly financed coverage. It looks at who sells VHI, who purchases it and why. It also reviews public policy on VHI at the national and EU levels and the related national policy debates.

To download the study on health insurance from the euro.who.int website