June 5, 2014

Mental health case-mix measurement

Payment by Results in Mental Health: A Review of the International Literature and an Economic Assessment of the Approach in the English NHS

If there is an area where case-mix measurement has been difficult to tackle it is mental health. After all these years, there are several options, but they need an assessment and adaptation to the context of care.
Fortunately there is an excellent review that can be used as starting point. A York University paper commissioned by UK Health Department that tries to compare a UK specific system and its potential application for budgeting and payment:
The Care Pathways and Packages Clusters classification system addresses both clinical  and nonclinical needs. Care pathways have been mapped, although the degree of clinical  consensus for these is unclear. Nonetheless, they offer a starting point from which to  develop consensus. The English approach will require a more systematic approach to data collection and reporting. This offers an opportunity to collect additional data on resource  use and process or outcome measures that can help evaluate quality and cost-effectiveness, and so inform the debate on what constitutes best clinical practice. Over time, it may be possible to introduce Pay-for-Performance (P4P) elements into the system, so that good practice is appropriately rewarded. However, P4P using a target based approach can  encourage ‘tunnel vision’, in which non-incentivised activity is displaced and would counteract the holistic approach embodied in the Care Pathways and Packages Clusters
Is there anybody thinking about this issue nearby?