Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dutch crossroads

EVALUATING REFORMS IN THE NETHERLANDS’ COMPETITIVE HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM

The quest for introducing systemic competition in health care is plagued with difficulties. This blog has explained its causes several times. There are at least two levels of competition: on the funding side and on the providers side. In my opinion the big issue is on the funding side. Under mandatory insurance, what is the outcome of managed competition (when insurers compete on quality rather than price)?. Although we don't have a case-control assessment, we can have a look at the Netherlands. Latest data confirm that costs are still rising although choice is greater than before. This article says:
Preliminary evidence shows that over the last six years health care costs have kept growing, quality information has become readily available, hospital efficiency has improved, and consumers have had greater choice
It is just a confirmation of my former post. I'm uncertain about the long term acceptance of dutch population for being the country that spends the most  on health in the EU. Can they afford the cost of choice? . Another wave of reform is approaching.

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