Health Care Around the World: Portugal

Portugal is similar to Norway in that it is a very centralized health care system. Despite the fact that Portugal ranks highly according to the WHO, there is widespread discontent with the Portuguese system. Most individuals in Portugal are insured by the state-run, single-payer National Health System. However, 25% of the population is insured through…

P4P: Be careful what you measure

Simon Caulkin, management editor of The Guardian, has a great article titled “The rule is simple: be careful what you measure.”  The article discusses the fact that measuring performance leads to better performance on the dimensions measured, but can often lead to significantly worse performance on the unmeasured dimensions.  For instance, What happens when bad…

Health Care Around the World: Japan

Japan has universal health insurance based around a mandatory, employment-based insurance. “The Employee Health Insurance Program requires all companies with 700 of more employees to provide workers with health insurance among some 1,800 ‘society-managed’ plans. Nearly 85% of these plans cover a single company…Most of the rest of the [health insurance plans] are industry-based.” Small…

Health Care Around the World: Spain

The Spanish have one of the most centralized health care systems in the world. Patients have no choice of provider and there is almost no cost sharing. Like most centralized systems without cost-sharing, there are significant waiting times for procedures. This has resulted in a 2 tiered system where 12% of the population receives higher…

Health Care Around the World: Italy

While France may have the highest rated health care system in the world, Italy is second according to the WHO. The Italian health care system is a decentralized version of the British NHS. Despite the high rankings by the WHO, Italians are dissatisfied with the quality of their care. Italians believe more patient choice will…

Increased Copays for high priced drugs

Consumers are starting to pay a larger share for high priced drugs.  According to the N.Y. Times (“Co-payments“), insurance companies “…are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.”  Medicare’s drug plans have introduced new fee schedules where…

Health Care Around the World: France

France is often seen by liberals as the ideal system. It has universal health care, with few waiting lists. France has the highest level of satisfaction with their health care among all European countries. How can this be? What is their secret? France provides a basic, universal health insurances through large occupation-based funds. The General…