January 12, 2015

Involved in our own health

People in control of their own health and care

 From King's Fund report:

Different perspectives (p.11)
• A consumerist approach: health and health care is seen as a marketplace in which patients (consumers) are involved by making choices about services, and the health care market responds to their preferences. Patient involvement is then a means to improve quality.
• A democratic approach: people have political, social and economic rights as citizens, and those who use or are affected by a public service should be involved in how it is run, and have certain rights regarding what they receive from that service.
• An ethical and outcomes-based approach: involvement is seen as the ethical thing to do, and the best approach to improve outcomes. This means recognising that good care comprises the application to individual circumstances of evidence-based medicine along with knowledge and experience. Patient involvement is essential to the judgement of relative risk and benefit associated with decision-making.
• A value-based approach: to achieve truly the best value for money from our health and care system, we must know and respond to what people need and want. In this way, we can deliver care that meets their preferences and patients receive ‘the care they need (and no less), and the care they want (and no more)’ (Mulley et al 2012).
• An approach based on sustainability: it is increasingly difficult for health systems to provide the best possible care to everyone as the prevalence of long-term conditions increases and the population ages. By involving people in managing their own health and care, and keeping well and independent, we can minimise our use of services.
• A person-centred care approach: our health and care system should be  focused on its users, promoting independence and co-ordinated around people’s full needs rather than being fragmented and siloed. Patient involvement is an essential component of delivering a more person-centred service that is tailored and responsive to individual needs and values.
The forgotten perspective in the list, though quoted in the text (p.16):  A behavioural economics approach: we try to do our best for our health but the autopilot decides without our full control. Some help (nudging) is needed.

The message:  "Embarking on an honest conversation about rights and responsibilities requires consideration of people’s motivation and the capability to engage."

PS. Nudging and the European Union, by Alberto Alemano.

PS. BIT Publication: EAST.Four simple ways to apply behavioural insights

PS. Regarding Hepatitis C treatment costs, It is good to remember this post by U. Reinhardt:

With this offer curve, a health system confronts the rest of the nation with two morally challenging questions:
1. Is there a maximum price above which society no longer wishes to purchase added QALYs from its health system, even with the most cost-effective treatments (e.g., Point C)?
2. Should that maximum price be the same for everyone, or could there be differentials – for example, a lower maximum price for patients covered by taxpayer-financed health programs (e.g., Medicaid, Tricare, the Veterans Administration health system and perhaps Medicare), a wide range of higher prices for premium-financed commercial insurance, depending on the generosity of the benefit package that the premium covers, and yet higher prices for wealthy people able to pay out of their own resources very high prices to purchases added QALYs for the family?