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Ewout van Ginneken

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Dutch, too, struggle for healthcare-cost containment


An article about Dutch healthcare reform by Ewout van Ginneken, Ph.D.,  in The New England Journal of Medicine may have lessons for U.S. reform efforts. He writes:

“The Dutch health system has a strong penchant for reforms of all shapes and sizes, achieving varying degrees of success in a long struggle to contain costs and improve quality. Recent governments have invested in facilitating the introduction of more market-based mechanisms to reach these goals, while trying to uphold such social values as solidarity through care financing and accessibility.”


“Dutch experience shows that implementing regulated competition takes time, is technically and politically complex, and requires many ad hoc corrections — and that good outcomes are far from certain. More practically, it underlines the importance of risk adjustment, strict mandate enforcement, effective mechanisms for managing subsidies, and purchasing reform. Almost 10 years in, the reforms have not led to the desired cost containment or a leap in quality. Consumer organizations have welcomed increased choice, but individuals increasingly worry about cost-related access problems.”

Sounds a bit familiar!


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