Social Health Insurance Systems in Western Europe

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Overview

Despite a long and distinguished tradition, social health insurance (SHI) arrangements in western Europe have come under increased pressure over the past ten years. Confronted by intensified clinical, financial and social expectations, policymakers in these countries have begun to re-examine the efficiency, quality and responsiveness to patients of their health systems. However, SHI systems in Europe are often complex and difficult to describe. This is highlighted by the difficulty analysts frequently have in pinning down exactly which specific health sector arrangements constitute an SHI system. Defining these arrangements is particularly important to reach beyond individual SHI systems in order to assess the performance of SHI systems in general.

Using the seven SHI countries in western Europe - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland - as well as Israel, this important new book reviews the core structural and organizational dimensions as well as recent/current reforms and innovations using a framework based on typical SHI characteristics; it explores the nature of the pressures these health systems confront to be more efficient, more effective, and more responsive; and reviews their success in addressing these pressures to date. It also examines the implications of these responses on the defining characteristics mentioned above. Finally, the book draws out a set of policy lessons about past experience and likely future developments in SHI systems in a manner useful to policymakers in Europe and elsewhere.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335213641
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Social health insurance in perspective : the challenge of sustaining stability 3
2 The historical and social base of social health insurance systems 21
3 Organization and financing of social health insurance systems : current status and recent policy developments 33
4 Patterns and performance in social health insurance systems 81
5 Assessing social health insurance systems : present and future policy issues 141
6 Governance and (self-)regulation in social health insurance systems 155
7 Solidarity and competition in social health insurance countries 170
8 Shifting criteria for benefit decisions in social health insurance systems 189
9 Contracting and paying providers in social health insurance systems 207
10 The role of private health insurance in social health insurance countries 227
11 The changing role of the individual in social health insurance systems 248
12 Prevention and public health in social health insurance systems 267
13 Long-term care in social health insurance systems 281
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