Headlines

Australia - The Australian Government has released a public discussion paper to help inform future care at home reforms This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Health policy reforms in Australia have aimed to give consumers more control over their care and, most recently, their home care. Government prepared a discussion paper and initiated a public consultation earlier this summer that is open for submissions until August 21. Feedback will be used to inform government decisions on an integrated care at home program.

Europe - Public Consultation on Health and Care in the Digital Single Market This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This consultation investigates the need for policy measures that will promote digital innovation for better health and care in Europe. It is seeking views on cross-border access to and management of personal health data, joint European exploitation of digital infrastructure, and measures to support interaction between patients and providers. Citizens, patient organisations, health and care professionals, public authorities, researchers, industries, investors and users of digital health tools are invited to respond to the consultation by October 12 2017.

Ireland - National Cancer Strategy 2017 -2026 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Following significant progress over the last 10 years, Ireland is determined to make further strides in cancer control such that survival rates reach the top quartile of European countries by 2026. Prevention is a cornerstone, along with integration across primary, acute and social care with enhanced leadership from the National Cancer Control Programme. The strategy describes measures intended to reduce the cancer burden, provide optimal care, and maximize patient involvement and quality of life.

UK - NHS England launches action plan to drive out wasteful and ineffective drug prescriptions, saving NHS over £190 million a year This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On July 21, NHS England published detailed plans, drawn up with family doctors and pharmacists, to trim hundreds of millions for the rapidly growing drugs bill. New guidelines recommend that 18 treatments, including homeopathy and herbal therapies, no longer be prescribed. They also propose limiting prescribing of products for minor conditions.

International - OECD Health Statistics 2017 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The OECD Health Database offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. The most recent update of the database was released this past June 30. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems.

Upcoming Events

Austria - Health in All Politics - a better future for Europe
The European Health Forum Gastein is the leading health policy conference in Europe. Its 20th anniversary edition takes place from October 4 to 6, 2017. Against a background of increasing populism across Europe, the challenge is to build bridges between the different policy areas, guided by European values of universality, access to good quality care, equity and solidarity.

Canada - Health Achieve 2017
Health Achieve, the annual conference of the Ontario Hospital Association, takes place in Toronto on November 6 and 7, 2017. Sessions cover everything from hospital food to digital health, patient and family centred care, funding reform and much more.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - An economic analysis of a system wide Lean approach: cost estimations for the implementation of Lean in the Saskatchewan healthcare system for 2012–2014 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published in BMC Health Services Research, this study estimates cost involved in the first two years of the province’s implementation of Lean, including poorly documented costs such as health leader training, along with more transparent costs for consultancy services. The authors examine the types of event involved in implementation and the costs associated with them. Cost estimates show that the annual cost of Lean in Saskatchewan during the 2012–2014 period was about $23.4 million.

Canada - Developing a New First Nations Health Governance System: Creation of an Independent, First Nations Run Organization This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2011 a tripartite agreement between the province of British Columbia (BC), Health Canada, and First Nations leaders created the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), with the goal of addressing health disparities between First Nations and other residents of BC, as well as increase the voice of First Nations people in the health system. This article considers that the FNHA has good potential and may be emulated by other provinces. However there remain administrative weaknesses and issues of recruitment and retention.

Canada - How the private insurance market operates in the regulatory framework governing prescription drug insurance in Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report presents the results of a unique survey of Québec employers with 50 or more employees to better analyze issues that arise in this market. The first part examines the views of company directors on issues surrounding group insurance. The second provides a detailed look at the characteristics of insurance contracts. On the basis of these data, the authors propose an analysis of the general functioning of group and private insurance and the profitability of the products offered.

Europe - Competition policy in five European countries. What can be learned for health policy in England? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Health Foundation working paper is the final report of a project that produced case studies of competition policies in France, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands and Norway. It finds that patient choice policies are increasingly common, that the process to determine hospital tariffs differs across countries, and that introducing GP competition is controversial.

Sweden - Management Practices and the Quality of Primary Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study explores the use of management practices in primary care units, based on the World Management Survey method. It relates the scope and quality of management to different types of primary care providers and to the quality of care. Overall, the results suggest a high level of management quality in Swedish primary care.

UK - Learning from Scotland’s NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This is the first in a series of reports from the Nuffield Trust that looks at each of the four health services of the UK and asks what lessons they hold for one another. Notable findings include that in improving quality Scotland focuses on engaging the altruistic professional motivations of frontline staff to build their skills to improve, and that a more personalized, less formal approach is used than in England. There is a long history and some good lessons for integrating various parts of the system.

USA - The Impact of Primary Care Practice Transformation on Cost, Quality, and Utilization This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This evidence report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) highlights findings from 45 newly released peer-reviewed reports and additional government and state evaluations. It finds the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and other forms of advanced primary care show improved outcomes in many studies.

International – Development of predictive models in international health systems This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Predictive models of health usage events, such as unplanned hospitalizations or entry into a care home, have been under development for a decade. A risk score is calculated for each individual, according to the probability that the event will occur. This article describes the different uses of this information for resource allocation, improvement of care pathways, remuneration and evaluations.

International - Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Commonwealth Fund report compares health care system performance in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Seventy-two indicators were selected in five domains: Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes. The U.S. ranked last on performance overall, and ranked last or near last on the Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes domains. The top-ranked countries overall were the U.K., Australia, and the Netherlands.