Headlines

Australia - Australian private hospital admissions rising faster than public hospital admissions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This government report finds that Australian private hospital admissions are rising more quickly than public hospital admissions, even though most admissions are still to public facilities. The report shows that admissions increased by 3.2% on average annually for public hospitals and 4.0% for private hospitals between 2010 and 2015.

Canada – The Ontario Government Reports First Year Progress on Patients First Action Plan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On March 23, 2016, the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care released a report detailing results of efforts to give patients better and faster access to high-quality health services. Measures to improve access have included making hospital parking more affordable, supporting in vitro fertilization, funding nurse practitioners and selecting Ontario's first ever Patient Ombudsman.

UK - NHS England launches national programme to combat antibiotic overusage This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) in England has launched an incentive scheme for hospitals and family doctors to prevent antibiotic resistance. Beginning in April 2016, the new program will offer millions of pounds of funding to English hospitals and general practices to support the reduction of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

UK - NHS to introduce new financial incentive to improve staff health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In April 2016, the National Health Service (NHS) in England will begin funding frontline healthcare staff to stay healthy. NHS organizations will gain a share of funding worth £450 million if they offer frontline doctors, nurses and other staff access to physiotherapy, mental health support, and other healthy workplace programs.

USA - 2016 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ranking the health of the 3,143 counties in the US, this annual report finds that the rate of opioid drug overdoses has increased 79% nationally since 2002. Rural counties have the highest rates of overall premature deaths, while residential racial segregation remains the leading cause of health disparities across the country.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Public Health 2016
The annual conference of the Public Health Agency of Canada will be held in Toronto, from June 13 to 16, 2016. It will present an innovative program that includes experts from the public health community, but also thought-provoking speakers from other fields who will inspire new ways of thinking.

UK - Changing populations, changing needs: Directions and models for community orientated primary care
The International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research is holding this symposium in Canterbury, UK, on September 15 and 16, 2016. The aim is to explore new models and ways of working for all nurses and other health and social care practitioners within a community-orientated primary care context.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Do Financial Incentives Influence GPs' Decisions to Do After-Hours Work? A Discrete Choice Labour Supply Model This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Using survey data, this paper analyzes supply of after-hours care by Australian General Practitioners’ (GPs) and the mitigating effects of personal circumstances and earnings structures. The paper finds that while a policy that increases the hourly earnings for AHC is likely to increase participation in AHC, the effect will be relatively small.

Canada - Transformation through Value and Innovation: Revitalizing Health Care in Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), this report calls for healthcare reform in the province that preserves the publically funded single-payer model but increasingly incorporates the private sector as a productive partner. The report includes three case studies of collaborations by Ontario’s public and private sector to improve healthcare value and innovation.

Canada - Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy produced this briefing note to help actors more easily distinguish between broad approaches to reducing health inequalities. It illustrates the difference between social determinants of health and social determinants of health inequalities and helps to see what impact might be had with different strategies.

Canada - Potential effects of rational prescribing on national health care spending More than half a billion dollars in annual savings This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The objective of this study is to estimate the cost savings that could result from implementation of a rational prescribing model for drug classes that are equivalent in terms of efficacy, toxicity, and convenience. This study has found that, while looking at merely 4 classes of medications, the estimated annual savings is estimated at $521 million.

Canada - Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Variations still exist in the percentage of patients receiving treatment within wait time benchmarks, depending on the province and the priority procedure. Priority procedures reported on include hip replacement, knee replacement, hip fracture repair, cataract surgery and radiation therapy. The overall number of priority procedures done continued to increase between 2011 and 2015, and about 8 out of 10 Canadians continued to receive their procedure within benchmarks. Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2016, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), provides a snapshot of wait times in Canada. Data on trends from 2008 to 2015 is available in CIHI’s online Wait Times tool, organized by province, health region and procedure.

Europe - The changing role of nursing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Four articles in this issue of the journal EuroHealth assess nursing in the 28 European Union (EU) countries, where regulations on the free movement and qualifications of nurses within the European Union affect clinical and managerial practices at the national level. The articles consider EU policies on nursing education, certification and migration.

UK - Galvanising the NHS to adopt innovation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the UK Department of Health, this report considers measures proposed by a 2015 National Health Service (NHS) Accelerated Access Review (AAR). The AAR proposals emphasize funding for academic health science networks and call for NHS clinical system leaders and secondary care organizations to take on roles championing innovation in return for financial incentives.

UK - Medical spending and hospital inpatient care in England: An analysis over time This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This academic paper summarizes trends in medical expenditure in England and uses administrative data to analyze the growth since 2000 of spending in hospital inpatient care. The paper concludes that expenditure for inpatient care is driven by activity rather than unit costs, and that spending rises with the prevalence of complex medical conditions and local population mortality.

UK - United Kingdom: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 2015 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted by the WHO, this analysis of the UK health system looks at the autonomous branches of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK’s four parts (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). The review notes that all four NHS branches function well compared to international peers and continue to demonstrate improvements in major health indicators despite increased financial constraint.

International - Implementation Processes and Pay for Performance in Healthcare: A Systematic Review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Pay-for-performance (P4P) programs have been implemented to improve quality in numerous health systems. This systematic review examined 41 international studies to better understand implementation factors affecting the effectiveness of P4P. It found limited evidence from which to draw firm conclusions, but suggests that P4P programs should align with organizational priorities and undergo regular evaluation.