001 definitionprimarycare en

001 definitionprimarycare en
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
EXPERT PANEL ON EFFECTIVE WAYS OF INVESTING IN HEALTH
9
10
(EXPH)
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Definition of a frame of reference in relation to primary care
21
with a special emphasis on financing systems
22
and referral systems
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
The EXPH approved this opinion for public consultation at the 4th plenary of 27 February
2014
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
About the EXpert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health (EXPH)
62
63
64
65
66
Expert Panel members
Pedro Barros, Margaret Barry, Helmut Brand, Werner Brouwer, Jan De Maeseneer
(Chair), Bengt Jönsson (Vice-Chair), Fernando Lamata, Lasse Lehtonen, Dorjan Marušič,
Martin McKee, Walter Ricciardi, Sarah Thomson
67
Contact:
68
69
70
71
72
European Commission
DG Health & Consumers
Directorate D: Health Products and Systems
Unit D3 – eHealth and Health Technology Assessment
Office: B232 B-1049 Brussels
73
SANCO-EXPERT-PANEL@ec.europa.eu
Sound and timely scientific advice is an essential requirement for the Commission to
pursue modern, responsive and sustainable health systems. To this end, the Commission
has set up a multidisciplinary and independent Expert Panel which provides advice on
effective ways of investing in health (Commission Decision 2012/C 198/06).
The core element of the Expert Panel’s mission is to provide the Commission with sound
and independent advice in the form of opinions in response to questions (mandates)
submitted by the Commission on matters related to health care modernisation,
responsiveness, and sustainability. The advice does not bind the Commission.
The areas of competence of the Expert Panel include, and are not limited to, primary
care, hospital care, pharmaceuticals, research and development, prevention and
promotion, links with the social protection sector, cross-border issues, system financing,
information systems and patient registers, health inequalities, etc.
74
75
76
77
2
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Members of the Working Group are acknowledged for their valuable contribution to this
opinion.
The members of the Working Group are:
Expert Panel members
Prof. Werner Brouwer
Prof. Jan De Maeseneer
Prof. Lasse Lehtonen
Dr. Dorjan Marušič
Dr. Sarah Thomson
Chair / Rapporteur
External experts
Dr. Dionne Kringos
Dr. Judith Smith
The declarations of the Working Group members are available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/expert_panel/experts/working_groups/index_en.htm
3
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
104
105
ABSTRACT
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
In this opinion the Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health (EXPH),
considers primary care to be the provision of universally accessible, person-centered,
comprehensive health and community services, provided by a team of professionals
accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health needs. These services are
delivered in a sustained partnership with patients and informal care givers, in the context
of family and community and play a central role in the overall coordination and continuity
of people's care.
149
150
151
152
153
© European Union, 2014
154
155
156
157
158
The opinions of the Expert Panel present the views of the independent scientists who are
members of the Expert Panel. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the European
Commission. The opinions are published by the European Union in their original language
only.
http://ec.europa.eu/health/expert_panel/index_en.htm
The Expert Panel notes that strong primary care systems contribute to equity and
improved health outcomes but emphasizes that primary care needs to continuously
evolve if it is to respond to changing challenges in society.
A strong primary care system can be the starting point for effective referral systems,
insuring integration between different levels of care. Gate-keeping can offer advantages
to patients, providers and the health system so long as important organisational and
patient management factors are taken into account.
The Expert Panel emphasizes the importance of ensuring that primary care services are
accessed by the population without facing financial hardship and notes that there is little
evidence that user charges lead to more appropriate use and cost control. When user
charges are present, there should be protecting mechanisms for people with low incomes
and people who regularly use health care.
European Union (EU) health systems show a trend towards blended provider payment
systems in primary care, combining risk-adjusted capitation with some fee-for-service
reimbursement. For pay-for-performance (P4P), usually an add-on to another payment
system, the Expert Panel describes factors that may contribute to the effectiveness of
P4P programs and implementation features that may weaken the effectiveness of
financial incentives.
Finally, the Expert Panel formulates general research questions in relation to the
development of primary care in Europe, specific research questions in relation to referral
and financing and strategic directions at different levels.
Keywords : Primary (Health) care, definition, financing, referral systems, EXPH, Expert
Panel on effective ways of investing in Health, scientific opinion
Opinion to be cited as :
EXPH (EXpert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health), Preliminary report on
Definition of a frame of reference in relation to primary care with a special emphasis on
financing systems and referral systems, 27 February 2014
ISSN 2315-1404
doi:10.2772/40087
ISBN 978-92-79-34907-2
ND-BA-14-001-EN-N
4
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................................................................... 3
166
ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................... 4
167
1.
BACKGROUND ............................................................................................. 6
168
2.
TERMS OF REFERENCE.................................................................................. 7
169
3.
OPINION..................................................................................................... 8
3.1.
170
171
172
173
174
175
Introduction: Primary care and health system performance........................ 8
3.1.1.
3.1.2.
3.1.3.
3.2.
176
177
178
179
180
Primary care: definition ...................................................................... 14
3.2.1.
3.2.2.
3.2.3.
3.3.
181
182
183
184
185
186
History ................................................................................ 14
Core-definition ..................................................................... 19
Developments in primary care ................................................ 21
The role of referral systems in strengthening health system performance... 27
3.3.1.
3.3.2.
3.3.3.
3.3.4.
3.4.
Primary care scoping ............................................................... 8
Health system goals ................................................................ 9
Challenges for health systems in a changing world .................... 11
What is the purpose of referral? .............................................. 27
What makes an effective referral system? ................................ 28
Conclusion ........................................................................... 31
Future research .................................................................... 32
Financing primary care ....................................................................... 37
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
Introduction ......................................................................... 37
3.4.1.
Ensuring an adequate level of financing for primary care ............ 37
3.4.2.
Ensuring equitable access to primary care ................................ 40
3.4.3.
Paying providers to promote efficiency and quality in primary care
3.4.4.
delivery, including financial incentives to improve care coordination................. 44
Areas for future research ....................................................... 49
3.4.5.
Conclusions and recommendations .......................................... 52
3.4.6.
4.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................ 56
196
5.
REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 57
197
6.
GLOSSARY ................................................................................................ 64
5
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
198
199
1. BACKGROUND
200
201
202
203
The Health and Consumers Directorate General (DG SANCO) of the European
Commission seeks to investigate how European health systems could benefit from a
better integration between different levels of health care, both in terms of increased costeffectiveness, and in terms of improved quality of care and equity.
204
This investigation should likely be organised along the following three lines of research:
205
206
207
208
209
First, develop a common understanding of the concept of primary health care in the EU,
including its goals, functions, and the players involved, and illustrate differences in
implementation. Furthermore, identify the differences between community-based care
and primary care and the defining factors of both concepts that can be applied across the
diversity of European health systems.
210
211
212
213
Second, a deeper reflection is needed on the role of effective referral systems in ensuring
integration between all levels of the health system and in helping to ensure that people
receive the best possible care closest to home. An up-to-date overview of referral
systems in the EU is actually not available.
214
215
216
217
218
219
Third, investigate how to identify and analyse existing typologies of funding mechanisms
in primary health care: to individual providers (e.g. fee-for-service, capitation, salaried
staff, mixed systems), and at higher organisational levels (e.g. lump-sum envelope
systems and case-mix adjustments). The aim is to identify how financing mechanisms
may contribute to the functioning of primary care especially in relation to the integration
of care, both within primary care and in relation to other sectors.
6
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
220
221
2. TERMS OF REFERENCE
222
223
224
225
The Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health (EXPH) is requested to provide
its views on how to structure the investigation, its objectives, main lines of research and
methodology to be adopted on how better integration of care could contribute to cost
effective and high quality health care systems. In particular, the Expert Panel should:
226
227
228
229
230
1. Provide SANCO with a comprehensive and operational definition of primary care which includes goals, functions, and players involved. It should also define
community-based care, explain the differences with primary care, and present the
defining factors of both concepts that could be applied across the diversity of
European health care systems.
231
232
233
234
2. Pronounce itself on the role of effective referral systems in ensuring the
integration between all levels of the health system and helping ensure that people
receive the best possible care closest to home. The panel should also provide
advice as to whether a dedicated study on referral systems is needed.
235
236
237
3. Identify the main investigation lines which should be pursued in analysing the
financing of primary health care and integrated care in order to guide DG SANCO's
future activities on financing mechanisms in primary health care.
7
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
3. OPINION
3.1.Introduction: Primary care and health system performance
This introductory section briefly sets out the goals of a health system, identifies some of
the main challenges facing health systems in Europe, and considers the role of primary
care – the first level of a health system – in improving health system performance and
addressing these challenges.
3.1.1.
Primary care scoping
246
247
248
Ever since the WHO Alma-Ata Declaration (WHO 1978), strengthening primary care
has increasingly been considered to be of the greatest importance for improving
population health and wellbeing, and building more equitable societies.
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
Primary care is the first level of a health care system where people present their
health problems and where the majority of the population’s curative health needs,
health promotion and preventive health needs are satisfied (Starfield 1994).
Effective primary care not only prevents diseases at early stages, but also
stimulates people to take up a healthy life style. Overall health is considered within
primary care in a more holistic matter, paying not only attention to medical health
needs, but also to other causes of ill health, such as social or employment
determinants. This makes primary care more health-centric than disease-centric.
Given its key characteristics, primary care has never left the policy agenda. It is
one of the major strategies to realise the new European policy for health – Health
2020 – and to achieving the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, such
as reducing maternal and child mortality. In the spirit of the Alma-Ata Declaration
the World Health Organisation articulated in its World Health Report 2008 (WHO
2008) the need to bring responsive health services closer to the population and to
provide people-centred and equitable care.
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
The scientific evidence–base that strong primary health care contributes to
improved health care system performance has significantly increased over time
(e.g. Delnoij et al 2000; Macinko et al 2003; Shi et al 2005; De Maeseneer et al
2007). The most recent study (Kringos et al 2013a), performed across 31 European
countries, looked at the "strength" of primary care. Countries are commonly
considered to have a ‘strong’ primary care system when the key functions of
primary care are well developed, and they are supported by essential conditions. In
other words: we speak of a strong primary care system when primary care is
accessible, coordinates care on a continuous basis, provides a broad range of health
care services (comprehensiveness), and operates with supportive governance
structures, appropriate financial resources and investments in the development of
the primary care workforce. The study showed that at the present time, strong
primary care is associated with better population health, lower rates of unnecessary
hospitalizations and relatively lower socioeconomic inequality in self-perceived
health. The same study (Kringos et al 2013b) showed that countries with relatively
strong primary care in Europe are Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania,
the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK. The study also showed that
8
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
countries with a relatively strong primary care structure have higher total health
care expenditures than countries with a relatively weak primary care system.
However, countries with more comprehensive primary care had a slower growth in
health care spending, compared with countries that provided less comprehensive
services. European countries either have many primary care policies and
regulations in place, combined with good financial coverage and resources, and
adequate primary care workforce conditions, or have consistently only few of these
primary care structures. There is no correlation between access, continuity,
coordination, and comprehensiveness of primary care within countries: countries
have invested without much coherence in the process features of primary care.
Therefore, a country may provide easily accessible primary care, but at the same
time may offer little continuity of care, or provide a small scope of health care
services in primary care.
294
295
296
297
298
This points to room for further improving the process of delivering primary care
systems. When examining why countries differ in the strength of primary care, one
finds that the primary care orientation (or focus) of a country is determined by
various contextual factors that influence the policy priorities of a country (Kringos
et al 2013c).
299
300
3.1.2.
Health system goals
301
302
303
Health care system goals can be defined in different ways and the terminology used to
describe these goals can differ, although a common set of performance indicators is often
included (EXPH 2014).
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
The WHO health system performance framework (WHO 2000) has been particularly
influential. It defined a health system as a structured set of resources, actors and
institutions related to the financing, regulation and provision of health actions that
provide health care to a given population. Health actions are conceived as any set of
activities whose primary intent is to improve or maintain health. The overall objective of
a health system is to optimize the health status of an entire population throughout the
life cycle, while taking account of both premature mortality and disability (Murray and
Frenk 2001). It is important to recognize that the boundaries between health and other
sectors, such as social care and education, and therefore between promoting health or
well-being, for instance, may be difficult to draw.
314
Health systems aim to achieve three fundamental objectives, as defined by WHO:
315
316
•
Improved health (for instance, better health status and reduced health
inequalities).
317
318
319
320
•
Enhanced responsiveness to the expectations of the population, encompassing
respect for the individual (including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy); client
orientation (including prompt attention, access to services, quality of basic
amenities and choice of provider);
321
322
•
Guaranteed financial fairness (including households paying a fair share of the
national health bill; and protection from financial risks resulting from health care)
9
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
WHO and the EU have identified common values for health systems in Europe. The policy
goals outlined in the World Health Report 2000, a landmark publication for health
systems, are reflected in the values of the Tallinn Charter1 – solidarity, equity,
participation – and in Health 2020, WHO’s European health policy framework – universal,
equitable, sustainable and high-quality health systems (WHO 2000, 2008, 2012). They
are closely echoed in the values and principles underpinning EU health systems –
universality, access to good-quality care, equity, solidarity – as set out in the European
Commission’s white paper ‘Together for health’ and several Council conclusions (Council
of the European Union 2006, European Commission 2007, Council of the European Union
2011, Council of the European Union 2013). Measuring and monitoring performance of
health care systems, covering these diverse (and potentially conflicting) health system
goals, remains an important challenge (EXPH 2014).
Table 1 summarises policy goals for the health system, distinguishing between those that
are intermediate or ‘instrumental’ and those that are ‘final’. The former are valued not in
their own right, but for their ability to enable the health system to meet its ultimate aims
of improving health, securing financial protection and providing services in a way that is
aligned with user needs and preferences. Internationally, and among a wide range of
multilateral and national organisations, there is remarkable consensus about the range of
health system goals, although concepts such as responsiveness are not always
consistently defined (Smith and Papanicolas 2013).
Globally, the World Health Report 2010 has given renewed impetus to the attainment of
universal health coverage, which it defines as ensuring that ‘all people obtain the health
services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them’ (WHO
2010).2 The report highlights the critical role of financial (risk) protection in preventing
people from being pushed into poverty when they have to pay for health services out of
their own pockets, noting that this requires a strong, efficient, well-run health system,
access to essential medicines and technologies, and sufficient, motivated health workers.
It also identifies aspects of health financing policy of particular importance in moving
towards universal health coverage: raising sufficient money for health; removing
financial barriers to access and the financial risks associated with ill health; and making
better use of available resources. The World Health Report 2013 emphasises the role of
local and comparative research in addressing the challenge of expanding health services
to meet growing needs with limited resources (WHO 2013) – a challenge that is felt in
the EU, albeit to a lesser degree than in other parts of the world, and one that the crisis
has exacerbated.
Table 1 Health system goals
Instrumental goals
363
Health
system
goals:
level
and
distribution across the population
(equity)
ƒ Equity in access to or the use of health services
ƒ Health
ƒ Efficiency
ƒ Financial protection and equity in financing the
ƒ Quality
health system
ƒ Transparency and accountability
ƒ Responsiveness
Source: adapted from WHO 2000 and Kutzin 2009
1
Signed by international organisations including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank,
Unicef and others.
2
http://www.who.int/universal_health_coverage/en/
10
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
364
365
366
The level of attainment of these goals relative to resources reflects the performance of
the system as a whole.
367
368
369
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
378
379
However, as there are variations in health conditions and health systems among
countries, the country context needs to be taken into account when comparing the
performance of health systems. In addition, due to changing economic, cultural and
societal circumstances, over the years some additional health system objectives have
been described: e.g. Relevance: i.e. the health system should be able to deal with
problems that matter to people, starting from an eco-bio-psycho-social concept of health
and well-being. This concept is an extension of the bio-psycho-social model developed by
George Engel. Engel enlarged the biomedical model with psychological and social
aspects, integrating them in both diagnosis and therapy. He stressed the interaction of
the different dimensions. In 1997, Rosenblatt added the ecological perspective as a
fourth dimension. In this approach environmental factors are also integrated in a
comprehensive approach towards patients and communities. This approach requires
health systems to be dynamic and innovative.
380
381
382
383
The Expert Panel proposes the use of these essential characteristics of a high-performing
health system as criteria for assessment of performance. Measuring and monitoring
performance of health care systems, covering these diverse (and potentially conflicting)
health system goals, remains an important challenge (EXPH 2014).
384
385
386
387
388
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
3.1.3.
Challenges for health systems in a changing world
There are fundamental developments that challenge health care systems: demographical
and epidemiological developments, scientific and technological developments, cultural
developments and “globalization and glocalisation”, socio-economic developments (De
Maeseneer et al 2007).
a. Demographic and epidemiological developments
Eurostat forecasts that life expectancy will continue to increase in the EU in the coming
decades, to reach 84.6 years for males and 89.1 for females in 2060. The percentage of
older people in the population will continue to increase in all EU-member states in the
period up to 2020 by 3 to 6% (Social and Cultural Planning Office 2000). Moreover, the
proportion of over-75s in the over-65 age will also increase. This increase in life
expectancy should be welcomed as a "success story" and a positive societal achievement.
The health forecast shows that the world will experience dramatic shifts in the
distribution of deaths from younger to older ages and from communicable diseases to
chronic conditions during the next 25 years. The epidemiological consequences of this
demographic transition will be an increase in diabetes, COPD, depression, … and a
growing number of people with multi-morbidity: according to the study by Barnett et al.
(2012) in Scotland half of the people aged 75+ have 2 or more chronic conditions, 2 out
of 5 of the 75+ have 4 or more chronic conditions. Obviously, the ageing of the
population will have an effect on the health workforce. The retention problems in primary
care could be counterbalanced by different solutions, such as training more primary care
professionals and increasing the skill-mix in primary care.
11
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
407
b. Scientific and technological developments
408
409
410
411
412
413
414
415
416
Increasingly rapid scientific progress brings the prospect of new prevention and care
possibilities in fields such as genetics, cardiovascular disease, replacement medicine,
neuro-sciences, cancer care and mental health care (Health Council of the Netherlands
2004). In the decades ahead, a growing scientific understanding of the role that genes
play in the development and progress of many different diseases will have an enormous
influence on health care, especially in terms of diagnosis and prognosis. It is a challenge
to find appropriate ways of integrating information coming from genomics, proteomics,
etc. in the provider-patient interaction in the clinic. Further, advances in information and
communication technology (ICT) will enhance communication.
417
418
419
420
421
The development of Evidence Based Medicine provides an important tool to better
underpin health care practice and organisation. However it is clear that apart from
"health evidence", we will need more research about "contextual evidence" (looking at
"effectiveness" in the relevant practice-context) and "policy evidence" (looking at
"efficiency" from an equity perspective) (De Maeseneer et al 2003).
422
c. Cultural developments
423
424
425
426
427
428
429
430
431
432
433
434
435
436
437
The role of patients in health care has changed over time. Nowadays, patients are acting
more and more as consumers. Better education enables people to play a more active role
in the management of their own health conditions (especially chronic conditions) and to
be active participants in the governance of health care institutions. The patient/citizen is
“beneficiary”, “consumer”, but also a key “health actor”. The transition from the
"user/patient/beneficiary" to "client/consumer" perspective has important consequences
for the interaction at the point of service delivery.
438
439
440
441
442
The increasing mobility and migration on the one hand and the concentration of the
world population in big cities on the other hand (by 2030, 70% of the world population
will live in an urban context; this questions the future of health care supply in rural
areas) means the health system will be faced with new challenges as the global problems
become apparent at the local level (“glocalisation”).
443
444
445
446
447
448
Specifically within the EU, there has been growing mobility of health professionals
between EU countries in recent years, aided by the mutual recognition of professional
qualifications. Moreover, a recent EU Directive (Directive 2011/24/EU on patients’ rights
in cross-border health care) clarifies the rules on mobility of patients, particularly their
access to health services in another EU country, including reimbursement. The Directive
also promotes cooperation on health care between EU countries.
449
450
In some ways all these developments, should be taken into account when improving
health systems. Their complexity will require a multi-dimensional response
In addition, both in Western countries and in developing countries, there is an increasing
"medicalisation" of daily life leading to what some consider the “manufacture” of new
diseases (Moynihan 2003). This has been described as the “patient paradox”, whereby
commercial interests promote overtreatment of profitable conditions, including
asymptomatic and essentially conditions detected by screening, leaving inadequate
resources for patients with complex and expensive conditions, such as multi-morbidity in
frail older people (McCartney 2012).
451
12
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
452
453
454
455
456
457
458
459
460
461
462
463
464
465
466
467
468
469
470
471
472
473
474
475
476
477
478
479
480
481
482
483
484
485
486
487
488
489
490
491
492
493
494
495
496
d. Socio-economic developments and financial constraints
Over the long term, expenditures on health have increased in the last decades, both in
absolute (e.g. in euros spent per capita) and relative (percentage of GDP spent on health
care) terms, although there have been declines in some countries since the onset of the
financial crisis. Thus an increasingly large proportion of national wealth is spent on health
care. Most projections of future health care expenditures show that this increase is
expected to continue, due to the factors described above (De La Maisonneuve and
Martins 2013). Within the EU, total spending on health rose from an average 8.2% of
GDP in 2001 to 9.6% in 2011, while public spending on health as a share of total public
spending increased during the same period from 13.7% to 15.2% (WHO Health For All
Database 2014).
Increasing health care expenditures are not necessarily a cause for concern, because
health care results in valuable gains to individuals, society and the economy (e.g. health
and productivity). Nevertheless, they raise questions related to the optimal size of health
care budgets, fiscal constraints and justification of spending. Resources spent on health
care cannot be employed elsewhere in society. Increasing health care expenditures
therefore have opportunity costs in terms of private and public spending. This underlines
the need to explicitly consider the marginal costs and benefits of additional spending on
health and the importance of selecting where and how to invest within the health care
sector, so as to promote the attainment of societal and health system goals.
Similar care is required in relation to cutting health care expenditures, especially in times
of limited economic growth, when demand for publicly financed health care is likely to
increase due to rising unemployment, falling household incomes and reduced ability to
pay out-of-pocket for health care. Health care spending growth has slowed and even
declined in some European countries since the onset of the financial and economic crisis
(OECD 2012, Reeves et al 2013). Analysis of health system responses to the crisis in
Europe suggests that carefully targeted cuts aimed at reducing excess capacity,
unnecessarily high prices and inflated wages may generate some savings without
damaging the performance of the health system; in contrast, blanket cuts in staff and
services, cuts to already low staff wages, cuts that are sustained over time and measures
that increase the financial burden for patients are likely to undermine performance by
exacerbating or creating inefficiencies and access barriers (Mladovsky et al 2012;
Thomson et al 2014 (in press)).
Besides the political and economic questions of optimal allocation of resources, questions
regarding fiscal constraints (i.e. how to raise the money required for the health care
sector) are prominent as well. Equity in financing, financial protection and equitable
access to needed and cost-effective services must be ensured to the highest degree
possible, and closely monitored. In that context it must be noted that important
differences exist across Europe in how the health system is organized and financed,
resulting in significant differences in performance.
497
13
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
498
499
500
3.2.Primary care: definition
3.2.1.
History
501
502
503
504
505
506
507
508
509
510
511
512
513
514
515
We have not used the term ‘community-based care’. One could suggest that communitybased care is all the care that is delivered in the community (which comes close to the
concept of 'ambulatory care'), and primary care is part of community-based care, where
it entails the activities detailed above. Furthermore, ‘community-based care’ has different
connotations between nations, in some cases referring to mental health services, in
others to home care for people with disabilities, and so forth. Primary care is a term that
has clear international currency, and for that reason we use it to unify the analysis set
out in this paper.
516
517
518
The defining moment in the contemporary history of primary health care is generally
considered to have been the WHO Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978, where it was stated
that
519
520
521
522
‘[Primary health care] … forms an integral part both of the country's health
system, of which it is the central function and main focus, and of the
overall social and economic development of the community .’ (WHO, 1978,
section VI);
523
In this opinion paper, we focus our attention on ‘primary care’ as originally defined by the
WHO at Alma-Ata, and subsequently developed and updated by the Institute of Medicine
and others. These definitions encompass health promotion and disease prevention, first
contact advice, diagnosis, care for common ailments, referral for specialist advice and
treatment, coordination of individual care including for long-term conditions, and end of
life care.
The Alma-Ata declaration went on to define primary health care as follows:
524
525
526
527
528
529
530
531
532
533
534
535
536
Primary health care: 'addresses the main health problems in the community, providing
promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services accordingly; ---(and) ---includes at least: education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of
preventing and controlling them; promotion of food supply and proper nutrition; an
adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation; maternal and child health care,
including family planning; immunization against the major infectious diseases; prevention
and control of locally endemic diseases; appropriate treatment of common diseases and
injuries; and provision of essential drugs;' (Section VII. 2 and 3) The Alma-Ata definition
was striking in its focus on primary care as an approach to health development, and its
holistic approach reflecting the concern of WHO in relation to improving the health of
populations and minimising disparities in health status within countries. These points were
emphasised strongly by Barbara Starfield as critical goals for any health system, as part of
her wider analysis of the role and importance of primary care (Starfield 1998).
537
538
539
540
541
542
543
Vuori (1986) suggested four ways of examining primary care: as a set of activities; as a
level of care; as a strategy for organising health care; and as a philosophy that
permeates health care. The idea of primary care as a level of a health system, and also a
strategy or philosophy for organising approaches to care, was taken up by Tarimo (1997)
in a paper revisiting Alma-Ata. Tarimo distinguished between primary health care as
an approach to health development (that is largely concerned with population health
and community development, ‘primary’ effectively meaning fundamental and essential)
14
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
544
545
546
547
and primary health care as level of care, namely the point of first contact between a
person and the health system. In many ways, this conceptualises the ideal of Alma-Ata
on the one hand, and the pragmatic approach taken by many countries in organising
their health services into primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, on the other.
548
549
550
551
Starfield drew together these two conceptions of primary care (health development, and
level of care) by regarding it very much as a level in a health system of central
importance to overall health service organisation and delivery, and in turn population
health and outcomes:
552
553
554
555
556
‘Primary care is that level of a health care system that provides entry into the
system for all new needs and problems, provides person-focused (not diseaseoriented) care over time, provides for all but very uncommon or unusual conditions,
and coordinates or integrates care provided elsewhere by others.’ (Starfield 1998,
pp 8-9)
557
558
Starfield identified what she considered to be the four central features of effective
primary care as follows:
559
i)
The point of first contact for all new needs
560
ii) Person-focused rather than disease-focused continuous care over time
561
iii) Comprehensive care provided for all needs that are common in the population
562
563
iv) Coordination of care for common needs and also those that are sufficiently
uncommon to require special services.
564
565
566
567
568
569
570
571
572
573
Starfield used these ‘four Cs’ as a way of assessing the effectiveness of a country’s
primary care system, and asserted strongly that there was an association between
strength of primary care orientation, degree of cost-effectiveness of health care, and
level of health outcomes achieved. More recent comparative analyses of the relationship
between strong primary care systems and population health (e.g. Kringos et al, 2013a)
have produced more nuanced conclusions. For example, Kringos et al’s work showed that
whilst strong primary care is associated with better population health, it is also
associated with higher levels of health spending, albeit that there seems to be a link
between comprehensive primary care provision and slower overall growth in health care
spending.
574
575
576
577
The Institute of Medicine has developed a definition of primary care updating its previous
definition from 1978, recognising three additional perspectives of particular relevance to
health policy concerns in 1996 the patient and the family; the community; and the
integrated delivery system. Their proposed new definition (Donaldson 1996) is:
578
579
580
581
‘Primary care is the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by
clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health
care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practising in the
context of family and community’.
582
583
584
The inclusion of integration of care is an important and highly relevant aspect of the
proposed IOM definition, as is the concept of working with people in their family and
community context. What is missing however is an emphasis on care co-ordination,
15
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
585
586
587
588
589
590
591
592
something that is an ever-increasing concern for primary care as people are living with a
greater number of long-term conditions. The role for primary care in coordinating care for
those with complex multi-morbidity, and doing this in partnership with professionals in
specialist or secondary care services, social care, mental health services and so forth, is
considerable, and something that characterises the challenge facing primary care in
2014. Coordination of care across complex pathways is therefore the name of the game
in the 21st century, or, as the French say, being a "compagnon de route", accompanying
people on their journey of care.
593
594
595
596
597
598
599
A further criticism of the IOM proposed definition is its lack of concern for the
differentiated needs of people presenting to primary care. For some, coordination of care
for complex needs will be vital. For others, the main priority will be rapid access to advice
and treatment, and most likely through new technologies such as skype, email, or even
phone. Indeed, the concept of a single professional taking responsibility for care of a
person on a long-term basis appears (of itself) to be somewhat dated and paternalistic in
modern Europe.
600
601
602
603
604
605
Primary care remains critically important, arguably more so than ever, given the rapid
rise in chronic disease and multi-morbidity, together with the technologies that offer a
different scope of communication, advice and care. However, its role is now more
sophisticated, complex, and intertwined with other levels of the health system and with
services provided by other sectors, and by families or lay-people. In 2008, on the
thirtieth anniversary of Alma-Ata, Steve Gillam wrote:
606
607
608
609
‘Effective primary health care is more than a simple summation of individual
technological interventions. Its power resides in linking different sectors and
disciplines, integrating different elements of disease management, stressing early
prevention, and the maintenance of health’. (Gillam 2008, p538)
610
611
612
613
614
615
616
617
Primary care has, from the very beginning always integrated a "community-perspective".
This was most clear in the development of the concept of "Community Oriented Primary
Care (COPC), that could be defined as: an approach to health care delivery that
undertakes responsibility for the health of a defined population. COPC is practiced by
combining epidemiological study and social interventions with clinical care of individual
patients, so that the primary care practice itself becomes a community medicine
program. Both the individual patient and the community or the population are the foci of
diagnoses, treatment and on-going surveillance" (Rhyne 1998).
16
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
618
BOX A:
619
620
Development of Community Health Centres in Flanders: the Community
Health Centre Botermarkt
621
The Community Health Centre Botermarkt is a not-for-profit organisation that started in
1978 in Ledeberg, a deprived area in the city of Ghent. The interdisciplinary primary
health care team is composed of family physicians, nurses, other staff, including
receptionist, health promoters, dieticians, social workers, ancillary staff, smokingcessation experts and dentists. The community health centre takes care of 5600 patients,
coming from over 70 different countries. All patient information is coordinated in an
integrated, interdisciplinary electronic patient health record.
The main purpose of the centre is to deliver integrated primary health, including
prevention, curative care, palliative care, rehabilitative care and health promotion. The
service delivery focuses on accessibility (no financial, geographical or cultural threshold)
and quality, using a comprehensive eco-bio-psycho-socio frame of reference. The focus is
on empowerment of patients and contribution to social cohesion. Participation of the
population in the community is of utmost importance.
All patients are registered on a patient list. All inhabitants, living in a defined
geographical area, are eligible to be on the list. A patient who is on the list does not have
access to other primary health care practices (except for out-of-hours care).
The range of services provided are:
-
Health promotion and prevention
-
Screening
-
Curative care
-
Palliative and rehabilitative services (both consultations and home visits)
-
Integrated home care by an interdisciplinary team
-
Nursing services
-
Community Oriented Health Promotion
-
Nutrition services
-
Social work
-
Dental care
The health centre is financed through contracts with the insurance companies that pay
monthly capitation for every patient on the list. From 1 May 2013, there is an integrated,
mixed, needs-based capitation that takes into account social variables, morbidity, age,
sex, functional status, income,… of the patient. Moreover, there are allowances for health
promotion in the community and for specific community projects.
There are contacts with secondary care providers, with physiotherapists, psychologists,
palliative services, social services, in the framework of an integrated primary care
system. The health centre created in 1986 a local care "platform": all primary care
17
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
providers, but also local schools, local police, organisations of citizens, organisations of
ethnic-cultural minorities, meet every 3 months in order to make a "Community
Diagnosis" and to enhance inter-professional and inter-sectoral cooperation.
The Community Health Centre engages in a "Community oriented Primary Care" (COPC)strategy where information from the daily encounter with patients is complemented by
epidemiological and other relevant data from the community and discussed with the
community in order to make a "Community Diagnosis" and to develop programmes that
tackle the upstream causes of ill-health (social determinants, inter-sectoral action
towards education, housing, work,…).
Contact: www.wgcbotermarkt.be
The International Federation of Community Health Centres: www.ifchc2013.org
622
623
624
625
626
627
628
629
630
18
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
631
3.2.2.
632
633
634
635
636
637
638
639
Core-definition3
The Expert Panel considers that primary care is the provision of
universally accessible, person-centered, comprehensive health and
community services provided by a team of professionals accountable for
addressing a large majority of personal health needs. These services are
delivered in a sustained partnership with patients and informal caregivers,
in the context of family and community, and play a central role in the
overall coordination and continuity of people’s care.
640
641
642
643
644
645
3
For the used terms, see 6. Glossary
19
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
646
647
648
649
650
BOX B:
Local health units in Portugal
The Portuguese National Health Service (NHS) has a country-wide network of primary
care centres and a network of hospitals. They have been run independently for most of
its history (the NHS was created in 1979).
The interaction between the two levels of health care has faced, over time, several
difficulties, with forward referral (from primary care to hospital care) and backward
referral (discharge from hospital care to follow-up in primary care) lacking coordination.
The regularly identified reasons for the lack of coordination include the excess of
bureaucracy, the difficulties in using communication channels or guidelines for the
referral processes and, finally, the different cultures and methods of primary care and
hospital health professionals.
The need for further coordination has led to the creation, in 1999, of local health units.
These units bring under the same management team a hospital (or group of
geographically close hospitals) and the primary care centres in the catchment area of the
hospital. The first local health unit was created in 1999, in the metropolitan area of
Oporto, and currently there are 7 local health units in the country (in the interior regions,
ranging from North to South and in the coastal Northwest and Southwest regions), which
cover about 10% of the population. The main organisational objective of the local health
unit is to ensure the continuity of care and public health activities in the designated
geographic area. Coordination of decisions and organisational improvements (such as, a
single medical record across primary care and hospital care, better planning of opening
hours of facilities, and sharing of health professionals) are the main drivers to create the
local health units.
The benefits attributed to the local health units include better quality of care owing to
more focus on long term health impact of interventions, better responsiveness to patient
needs, better use of installed capacity, better information available at all levels, all
allowing for an improved pathway of patients within the health system.
Bringing together the different cultures of hospitals and primary care centres is the major
difficulty in making the model work.
The local health unit is funded by the NHS, which applies an adjusted capitation formula.
The adjustment formula includes information on standardized mortality rate, gender,
proportion of elderly and children in the population and average schooling levels.
Within the NHS, local health units, like any other entity, do not face competition as
catchment areas are defined. Local health units may contract out services to the private
sector, and patients may have the option of other health care providers whenever they
have health insurance coverage additional to the NHS.
The benefits of the model of local health units were not immediate and are dependent on
implementation. The expected advantages of the integrated model take time to
materialize.
651
652
653
654
20
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
655
656
657
658
659
660
661
662
663
664
665
666
667
668
669
670
671
672
673
674
675
676
677
678
679
680
681
682
683
684
685
686
687
688
689
690
691
692
693
694
695
696
697
698
699
700
701
3.2.3.
Developments in primary care
The core-definition as formulated in 3.2.2. should not be seen as static. The Expert Panel
wants to view this definition as a dynamic phenomenon, taking into account the
developments described in 3.1.3.
Primary care continues to adapt
Primary care is a central part of the health care system of most nations. Changes in the
overall health system (be it in terms of financing, health care organisation or health care
supply) can influence the demand for, as well as the role and content, of primary care.
For example, the model of single primary care-based coordinator of continuous care is
increasingly regarded as outdated, given that many people are living much longer with
multiple health problems and needing the input and advice of a range of specialist
medical teams alongside the care and support of their primary care team. Thus primary
care is being expected to play a central role within larger care teams or networks, and to
be a core element of what is often referred to as ‘integrated care’. In such larger teams
or networks, there is increasingly a strong reliance on integrated electronic patient
records as the main means of providing effective coordination of the different aspects of
people’s care.
These changes are likely to continue to occur in the future and it is important to
anticipate and explore the implications. This leads to challenging questions about the
future role and content of primary care, including about the use of electronic and mobile
health, new forms of diagnostic tests that can be used at home or in primary care
settings, and moves towards a greater degree of self-management by patients of longterm conditions.
Primary care is a part of the wider health care system. Changes in the overall system (be
it in terms of financing, health care organisation or health care supply) can influence the
demand for, as well as the role and content, of primary care. The lines between primary
and secondary sectors may become more blurred (e.g. with specialists forming a part of
integrated care networks) when considering increasing integration of care.
Just to give a few examples:
•
eHealth or mHealth developments may lead to new forms of contact between
patients and primary care centres. It is important to investigate how these
developments can lead to better, more accessible and cost-effective care and
how this relates to patients’ preferences.
•
New forms of diagnostic tests are likely to become available for use in primary
care. This may lead to a higher demand for these tests, raising questions of
optimal use.
Primary care is not a static concept. The content, organisation and role of primary care
has changed over time, in response to changes in, amongst others, general and medical
21
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
702
703
704
705
706
707
technology, demographic and epidemiological trends and the organisation of the health
care system itself. Advances in medical technology allow primary care to offer an
increasing range of services to citizens and patients, and for this to happen through
media such as online text, voice and video messaging, phone, email and telemedicine.
Primary care now encompasses a very comprehensive set of interventions and this is
likely to grow even further in the future.
708
709
The role of patients is changing
710
711
712
713
714
715
716
717
718
The role of patients has also changed. They are increasingly perceived to be more
informed, articulate and involved in their treatment decisions. Contemporary concepts
like shared decision making emphasize this. While there has been some research into the
changing relationship between patient and physician (GP), this developing fundamental
relationship remains an important area for research. Although primary care is based on
the relationship between the patient and the physician, other professionals have a
growing role in the way people are accessing primary care. Nurses and community
pharmacists are increasingly involved in meeting citizens' health care needs and
expectations.
719
720
Primary care coordinates people’s care
721
722
723
With the increase in complexity of medical care needs, also in light of ageing populations,
chronic illnesses and multi-morbidity, coordination even within primary care becomes
more important.
724
725
726
727
728
729
730
731
The provision of coordinated care is an increasingly complex activity, as people’s needs
become more extensive and they are cared for across many settings and professionals.
Moreover, apart from the needs as the starting point of the care coordination, there is
increasing emphasis on the "goals as defined by the patient in terms of quantity and
quality of life" (De Maeseneer 2012). Coordination requires integrated medical records,
IT-based remote or social media approaches, and a more empowered role for individuals
and their carers. At times, the coordinator of care will be a specialist, who may be based
in a hospital or in the community.
732
733
734
735
736
737
738
739
740
741
742
This coordination may be defined in different ways: (i) GPs may delegate tasks to
support staff such as nurses (e.g. measuring blood pressure, performing pap smear tests
or providing lifestyle advice). (ii) GPs may refer individuals to other (secondary) types of
care. This is highlighted further in the section 3.3. (iii) GPs may act as coordinators of
care providing guidance in cases where patients suffer from multiple illnesses which
require the attention of more than one professional (possibly from more than one sector
of the health care system). (iv) In some health care systems (e.g. previously in the UK)
GPs may also purchase non-urgent elective and community health care services for
patients in the role of fundholders. Continuity of care is often mentioned as a core aspect
of primary care. This continuity also pertains to the task of coordination and to keeping
records of various treatments in order to maintain a ‘holistic’ view of an individual’s care.
22
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
743
744
Primary care seeks to balance continuity and access
745
746
747
748
749
People have differentiated needs. As a result, the provision of continuity of care is
important for some people at a certain point in time of their lives, but not always at all
times to everyone. Access may be more important, for example regarding minor ailments
or episodic illness. Continuity may be about a professional/doctor, or health centre, but
will also increasingly be about records/information, or a much wider care team.
750
751
752
753
754
755
756
757
Care is increasingly provided across one or more pathways which span traditional
sectors, services and institutions. Given that so many people now live with one or more
long-term conditions, specialists are much more likely to be involved in a person’s care,
acting as advisers to (or even as members of) the integrated care team. Specialists are
therefore often arguably delivering aspects of primary care, or at least giving secondary
care in primary care settings. Hence the role of primary care as lynchpin of the wider
team is becoming more significant – for instance along the lines of the Primary Care
Medical Home model as implemented in the United States (Arend et al., 2012).
758
759
Primary care is collaborative
760
761
762
763
764
765
766
767
768
769
770
771
772
773
774
Primary care providers are increasingly organized in teams or networks, and often
located in primary care centres or community hospitals. This facilitates work processes
(e.g. weekend shifts), but also specialisation within primary care. Different primary care
professionals (e.g. nurse, pharmacist, physiotherapist and GP) can be brought together
in primary care networks or centres in order to facilitate cooperation, coordination and
accessibility of health care facilities. These care centres may be simply geographical
clusterings of services or organisations offering various forms of primary care. The notion
that primary care is collaborative challenges health systems regarding training of
professionals (to recognize and appreciate the interdependence of health professions),
legal systems regarding activities of health professionals and the role of professional
bodies in promoting and adjusting professional self-regulation towards a primary care
that meets citizens' needs. This development also involves issues such as ICT support,
sharing medical information between providers and case management. The role of
individuals in determining goals, accessing and perhaps even adding to their own records
challenges the role of the ‘traditional primary caregiver’.
775
776
The primary care workforce is changing
777
778
779
780
781
782
783
784
The workforce continues to change, to meet both the needs of a new generation of health
professionals, and the different patterns of care required by people living longer and with
a range of chronic conditions. For example, the shift in gender balance in the health
workforce, the associated increase in part-time and flexible working, and advanced
nursing roles means that most people relate more to a primary care team than a single
physician or nurse. Widening the organisational scale of primary care practices is
conducive to the provision of collaborative care, the continuity of patient care, and
improves the accessibility of care at organisational level.
23
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
785
786
787
788
789
790
Shifts in roles of professionals (e.g. from GPs to nurse practitioners, or from primary care
teams to integrated care networks) may change the nature of primary care and require
its providers to have comprehensive generalist training in a community setting. Such
shifts may be supported by technological advances, but their impact on costs, outcomes
and ‘consumer satisfaction’ is as yet unclear. What is clear is that primary care remains a
dynamic and central part of the health systems of almost all countries.
791
792
Informal caregivers
793
794
795
796
797
798
A large part of total care provided to patients in Europe is informal care. Figure 1, taken
from Riedel and Kraus (2011), shows that a large share of the elderly population in
Europe receives informal care, especially those over 80. However, while older people may
be especially dependent on informal care, there are many younger people in need of
care, such as patients suffering from diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or physical or
mental disabilities.
799
800
801
802
803
804
These figures translate into substantial proportions of the population providing informal
care. In the Netherlands, for instance, 10% of the population act as informal carers,
often for long periods of time and intensively (De Boer 2005). These carers provide tasks
ranging from emotional support, support with household activities to support with ADL
24
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
805
806
807
808
tasks such as washing, clothing and visiting the toilet (Brouwer et al 2004). Especially in
the context of chronic or slowly progressive diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and
dementia, informal care is often required and provided for several years, often on a daily
basis for several hours per day.
809
810
811
812
813
814
815
816
817
818
819
820
821
822
Informal care has been shown to complement but also supplement formal care, for
instance through delaying institutionalisation (Van Houtven and Norton 2004). Often,
informal care is preferred over formal care by both patients and carers (Brouwer et al
2005). Informal caregivers can thus form important partners for primary care
professionals by complementing and supplementing formal care, and also through their
knowledge of the preferences of patients for instance in treatment choices. In
collaboration, the care for patients may be optimised. Given the ageing of populations
(which may result in increases of the prevalence of diseases such as Alzheimer) and
constraints on health care budgets and available formal care professionals, the demand
for and importance of informal care is expected to increase in the coming years. Close
links between informal carers and (primary) care professionals may enable the prolonged
involvement of informal carers. This is important, because the availability of carers may
decline in the coming years, for instance due to increased labour force participation of
women and geographical spread of families.
823
824
825
826
827
828
Primary care professionals should also be aware of the strain that prolonged informal
care can put on carers. Intensive informal care can be associated with substantial
burden, decreased health and wellbeing and even increased mortality risks (Bobinac et al
2010; Bobinac et al 2011; Schulz and Beach 1999). It is therefore important for primary
care professionals to support informal carers if necessary in order to help them to sustain
their tasks and prevent overburden or illness (Kraijo et al 2014).
829
830
831
832
833
834
835
836
837
838
839
840
25
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
841
842
BOX C:
843
844
Primary care in England
Primary care in England is under significant strain. GPs and their teams are working hard
to try to meet demand from patients while lacking time to reflect on how they provide
and organise care (RCGP 2014). New models of care organisation are emerging
organically in some areas to meet the challenges facing primary care, including primary
networks or federations, expanded community health organisations, large merged family
practices known as ‘super-partnerships’, and regional multi-practice organisations (Smith
et al 2013). Local context plays an important role in the emergence of such models, all
of which have been developed in an organic and ‘bottom-up’ manner – they have been at
the initiative of local health professionals and communities, not of direct government
policy.
Community health organisations have a strong population health orientation with a
commitment to meet the specific needs of disadvantaged communities and address
health inequalities. These organisations – sometimes made up of multiple practices in a
network and in other cases in a single building – combine patient-centredness with a
strong population orientation and generally have an ownership model with significant
community or public involvement (Smith et al 2013).
One example of such an
organisation is the Bromley-by-Bow Health Centre in London, a community organisation
working in one of the UK’s most deprived localities. The centre supports families, young
people and adults of all ages to learn new skills, improve their health and wellbeing, find
employment, and develop the confidence to achieve their goals and make changes to
their lives. The Bromley-by-Bow Centre provides services, facilities, information and
advice. Its primary care services are run as a family practice partnership, with the other
wider services operating as a charity with distinct but connected governance
arrangements. The GP partnership includes: GPs, practice nurses, a health care
assistant, phlebotomists and a service user advocate.
A super-partnership is a large-scale single general practice partnership structure that has
been created through formal partnership mergers. It seeks to achieve a greater degree
of scale for local general practice, offering a wider range of primary and community
health services, and using its scale to offer community-based diagnostic services and
consultations with specialists. Its scale also enables a wider range of career development
opportunities for GPs and their teams. Their organisational and legal form is a single
large GP partnership, although they often establish one or more parallel companies that
can act as the vehicle for bidding for and managing additional services funded by the
NHS or private sources. An example of a such an organisation is the Vitality Partnership
in central Birmingham. Vitality offers patients: primary care, a range of outpatient
services, x-ray, and intermediate care. The partnership operates with an integrated IT
system, real-time patient feedback mechanisms, joint clinics between GPs with a special
clinical interest and consultants. The organisation is based across multiple sites and
covers 50,000 patients. Its strategic aim is to continue to grow and develop into a
100,000 plus integrated care organisation and ultimately an accountable care
organisation (Smith et al 2013).
Contacts:
http://www.bbbc.org.uk/
Bromley-by-Bow Centre, London
http://www.vitalitypartnership.nhs.uk/ Vitality Partnership, Birmingham
845
846
26
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
847
848
849
3.3.
The role of referral systems in strengthening health system performance
3.3.1.
What is the purpose of referral?
850
851
852
853
854
A referral can be defined as a process in which a health worker lacking sufficient
resources to manage a person’s clinical condition seeks the assistance of a better or
differently resourced facility at the same or higher level to assist in, or take over the
management of, the case (WHO 2006). Referral plays a crucial role in primary care
because primary care is the point of entry to the health system for many people.
855
856
857
858
859
860
861
Referral systems aim to improve quality and efficiency in health service delivery by
ensuring that people receive appropriate and well-coordinated care. Through referral,
patients are guided to the professionals and facilities most suited to treating them.
Referral systems can contribute to efficiency by minimising inappropriate care and
duplication and by upholding the principle of subsidiarity – that is, that tasks should be
carried out at higher levels if they cannot be performed effectively at lower levels (and
vice-versa).
862
863
864
865
866
An effective referral system benefits patients, many of whom may lack sufficient
information about their condition and about relevant services to make the right choices,
often in difficult circumstances. If accompanied by strong information systems, referral
can prevent people from having to repeat their medical history and protect them from
the potentially harmful effects of duplication and polypharmacy.
867
868
869
870
871
An effective referral system also benefits health professionals. In the absence of a
referral system, specialists would see too many self-limiting cases, eroding their ability to
deal with complex cases; family physicians would not see enough children (for example),
eroding their ability to provide effective out-of-hours care to children; and sometimes a
second opinion is called for to confirm or reject an initial diagnosis.
872
873
874
875
876
877
878
879
Referral is often thought of as a linear process in which a patient is transferred from one
provider to another. This model is most appropriate for people with new (non-lifethreatening) health problems that may be unclear for patient and provider and therefore
are best presented at the primary care level. Usually, only around 10% of these
problems will require referral to other providers. Thanks to developments in information
technology, referral need not imply the physical transfer of patients from one location or
level to another. Electronic transfer of information, including diagnostic test results, can
enable on the spot decision making.
880
881
882
883
884
For people with chronic conditions, and especially for those with multiple conditions, a
‘spiral’ model of referral may be more appropriate. Patients are referred within primary
care and between different levels of the system on an ongoing basis. This requires a high
degree of coordination, explicit definition of the responsibilities of the providers involved
and good information for patients.
27
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
885
886
887
888
889
890
891
892
Access to secondary care is sometimes contingent on referral. In such instances, primary
care plays a ‘gatekeeping’4 role, controlling the patient’s entry into the health system and
taking responsibility not only for providing care but also for coordinating specialised care
through referral. Gatekeeping can therefore be seen as an organisational mechanism to
promote coordinated care (Saltman et al 2006). However, it is sometimes used as a
means of controlling costs, particularly where there are long waiting lists for secondary
care, in which case primary care may slow the rate of referral to help regulate waiting
times.
893
894
While all European health systems require referral for admission to hospital, there are
four different approaches to referral for specialist consultations:
895
896
•
people have direct access to specialist consultations (eg the Czech Republic,
Luxembourg);
897
898
899
900
•
gatekeeping is not enforced, but people are encouraged to obtain a referral for
some or all specialist care, usually through financial incentives such as having to
pay a (higher) user charge for direct access to a specialist (eg Belgium, Germany,
Ireland)
901
902
903
•
GPs act as gatekeepers but people have direct access to specific specialists such
as gynaecologists, paediatricians or ear, nose and throat (eg Denmark, Estonia,
Poland)
904
905
•
people are required to obtain a referral for specialist consultations (eg Croatia, the
Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, the United Kingdom)
906
907
In recent years, some countries have moved from the first to the second approach
(Reibling and Wendt 2012). Choice of provider is possible in any of these approaches.
908
909
3.3.2.
What makes an effective referral system?
910
911
912
913
914
Variation across European countries in approaches to referral sometimes reflects
historical and cultural differences, but it may also reflect debate and uncertainty about
the expected benefits and risks associated with referral – particularly gatekeeping (see
Table 2) – and about how best to ensure referral systems are effective in promoting
quality, efficiency and responsiveness.
915
916
917
918
919
920
921
Referral rates have been found to vary enormously between providers, independently of
health system organisation (Fleming 1993). The earliest study of referral from primary to
secondary care in Europe found that higher rates of referrals were associated with
gatekeeping, high specialist density and high GP workload, while lower rates were
associated with strong GP training programmes (Fleming 1993). Another study has found
that (not surprisingly) rural GPs have lower rates of referral than urban GPs (Zielinski et
al 2008).
4
The gatekeeping principle originates from theories about information-channeling (first developed
by the social psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1943) and is now most frequently used in relation to health
care.
28
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
922
923
924
925
926
927
928
929
Research suggests that gatekeeping by GPs can help reduce overall health system costs
(Martin et al 1989, Franks et al 1992, Delnoij et al 2000 and Schwenkglenks et al 2006).
For example, a recent systematic review of the literature found gatekeeping to be
associated with lower use of health services (shorter and fewer hospital visits, fewer
emergency department visits and lower use of ambulatory care) and lower spending. The
review noted, however, that there was substantial variation across studies in the
direction and magnitude of changes in use and costs; some studies found no difference
or higher levels of use (Garrido et al 2010).
930
931
932
933
934
935
These findings may have motivated some countries to introduce financial incentives to
encourage patients to obtain referrals for specialist consultations (see Box 1) – a growing
trend in EU health systems in recent years (Reibling and Wendt 2012). However, the
authors of the systematic review highlight the limited quality of many of the studies they
reviewed, only a few of which examined the effects of reduced use on patient outcomes,
with inconclusive results.
936
Box 1: French system of "preferred doctors"
937
938
939
940
941
942
943
944
945
946
947
948
949
950
951
952
953
Since 2004 (Health Insurance Reform Act), all those benefiting in France from health
insurance coverage must choose their "preferred doctor" ("Médecin traitant"). As a result
it costs more to consult a specialist directly, without being referred by their "médecin
traitant". This form of soft gate-keeping was generally well-accepted, perhaps because a
number of specialties were excluded from the referral system for example gynaecology,
dermatology, psychiatry, ophthalmology and paediatrics. Furthermore, adherence to the
"preferred doctor scheme" mainly reflected existing patterns of access. Indeed, in 2006,
92% of the patients that had chosen a preferred doctor, already had this doctor as the
usual family physician. Moreover, in 2007, after the implementation of the scheme, the
share of patients consulting outside of the gate-keeping system was 20% on average for
all categories of specialists, whereas it was only 30% prior to the implementation of the
inform. This shows that prior to the reform, French patients were already following a kind
of "gate-keeping" model, despite enjoying a large freedom of choice. Finally, freedom of
choice of doctors has not actually been restricted at all, since patients are stil able to
choose which doctors they want to visit (having been referred or not) and they can very
easily switch preferred doctors (by filling out a form with the doctor of their choice).
(Durand-Zaleski 2010)
954
955
956
957
958
959
960
Recent empirical research has highlighted the potentially negative effect of gatekeeping
on quality of care and health outcomes (Vedsted and Olesen 2011). An ecological study
of 19 European health systems found that gatekeeping was associated with lower rates of
cancer survival, perhaps due to delays in diagnosing cancer and/or timely follow-up.
Other research has questioned whether GPs in some countries recognise and rapidly refer
children with acute medical emergencies.
961
962
963
964
965
966
This research challenges the positive claims made for gatekeeping in particular and
referral more broadly. It suggests that gatekeeping may not promote quality and
efficiency if it is viewed primarily as a cost containment tool and where GPs regard
themselves as rationing care (Vedsted and Olesen 2011). If referral systems are to
contribute to stronger health system performance, GPs and others will need to view their
gatekeeping role as more of an advisory function, helping patients ‘navigate’ the health
29
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
967
968
969
970
system. The aim of gatekeeping should be to guide patients towards the most
appropriate and cost-effective forms of care, and not to limit access to care.
Table 2 Potential benefits and risks of gatekeeping
Benefits
Reduces unnecessary use of
Efficiency
(specialist) services
Costs
Costs are reduced
Patient satisfaction
High trust in GPs
Quality
Quality is improved through
coordination
Risks
Access to necessary specialist
services is denied; no reduction
in specialist services but more
GP visits
No cost reductions; slight
increases in costs
Patients feel their choice is
restricted
Compared with specialist care,
GPs provide lower quality care
for a given health problem
Inequalities are maintained due
to the better ability of advantaged
groups to put pressure on GPs
971
Inequalities are reduced;
supports decision-making by
disadvantaged people; reduces
unnecessary specialist use by
advantaged groups
Source: Reibling and Wendt 2012 adapted from Coulter 2010
972
973
974
975
976
977
978
979
A Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of interventions to improve outpatient
referrals from primary care to secondary care found that passive dissemination of referral
guidelines was unlikely to lead to better referral quality (Akbari et al 2011).5 Although
the number of rigorous evaluations of different interventions is low, the study suggests
that the use of "in-house" second opinions and other intermediate primary care-based
alternatives to outpatient referral seems promising, and that while financial interventions
can change referral rates, their effect on referral quality is uncertain. The authors found
that referral guidelines are more likely to be effective if:
Equity
980
-
Local secondary care providers are involved in dissemination activities;
981
-
Structured referral sheets are used;
982
983
-
Secondary care management is responsive to changes in primary care behaviour
as a result of the guidelines;
984
-
They reflect local circumstances and address local barriers.
985
986
In addition to the production of referral guidelines based on clearly defined and agreed
patient pathways, other factors that may improve referral quality include:
987
988
989
•
5
clinical triage: ensuring clinical triage is an integral part of any referral
management service to route referrals to the most appropriate health professional
and location (Scottish Executive Health Department Directorate of Delivery 2007)
17 studies were included in the review, 12 coming from the United Kingdom
30
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
990
991
992
•
assessment and feedback: assessing the appropriateness of referrals against
guidelines and informing health professionals where referrals do not meet the
acceptance criteria
993
994
995
996
997
•
information systems: the presence and use of good information systems,
including the electronic transfer of patient information between providers, so that
patients do not have to repeat giving their medical history and to avoid the
harmful and wasteful effects of duplication and polypharmacy (NHS Wales
998
999
1000
1001
1002
•
easily accessible and good quality first contact care: in many countries,
overuse of emergency departments can be explained by access and quality issues
in other parts of the health system; these weaknesses need to be addressed so
that patients can benefit from care provided by the most appropriate provider and
the health system does not waste resources
1003
1004
1005
1006
•
provider payment systems that are aligned with health system goals: how
health professionals respond to financial incentives (Croxson 2001) and the way in
which they are paid and regulated – in both primary and secondary care – can
have significant implications for patient diagnosis and referral
Informatics Service)
1007
1008
1009
1010
1011
3.3.3.
Conclusion
The Expert Panel considers that referral systems, including gatekeeping, can have strong
advantages – spelled out above – but, to be fully effective, they must involve the
following factors:
1012
1013
1014
-
a strong and responsive, high-quality primary care system, organized in
(interprofessional) group practices and health centres, with a practice-based
patient list and opportunities for second opinions at the primary care level.
1015
1016
1017
-
a patient-centered approach exploring the needs, expectations and goals of
the patient, using appropriate communication skills; this includes a form of
personal relationship between the GP and the patient through a patient list
1018
1019
-
primary care providers have timely access to the results of medical imaging
and other diagnostic tests
1020
1021
1022
-
secondary care responds promptly and in a coordinated way once patients are
referred from primary care, with fast-track facilities where a serious diagnosis
is suspected (life-threatening conditions in children, cancer etc)
1023
1024
1025
-
patient management based on maximal subsidiarity providing follow-up as
much as is effective at the primary care level to avoid long waiting times for
referred patients
1026
1027
-
referral processes are facilitated and enhanced through electronic procedures
as much as possible
31
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1028
1029
-
interactions between referral processes and payment systems are taken into
account and incentives (both financial and non-financial) are aligned
1030
1031
3.3.4.
Future research
1032
1033
1034
1035
1036
1037
1038
1039
-
High-quality studies to identify the most effective interventions to improve
referral appropriateness, including: secondary care provider-led education
activities, structured referral management sheets, electronic referral,
enhancement of primary care and in-house second opinions, the usefulness of
decision-support systems underpinning referral decisions, the impact of
financing mechanisms at the level of primary care and secondary care on
referral-patterns, the effect of tools focusing on patient-empowerment in
relation to the referral process
1040
1041
-
Further research to explore and tackle the possible adverse effect of
gatekeeping on quality of care and health outcomes
1042
1043
1044
32
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1045
1046
1047
1048
1049
1050
Box D:
Upgrading primary health care in Slovenia
In Slovenia the reforms to upgrade the health system (2010 – 2020) have a particular
focus on prevention and primary health care. The overall aim is to guarantee the
positive health of the Slovenian population. The strategic goal is to establish a flexible
health care system that will effectively fulfil citizens' needs by offering them quality and
safe health care services.
At the time of the healthcare reform in 1992 the primary care level was not a priority.
The organisational and financial changes introduced focused on secondary care because
of its high expenditure and long waiting times. But it is well-known that 85% of patients'
medical problems can be resolved at the primary level. At the same time costs are
significantly lower than at the secondary level.
Regarding geographical accessibility the reforms are based on the so-called national
pyramid, consisting of three separate levels:
- a widely accessible primary care level acting as a “gatekeeper” for entry to the health
care system;
- a secondary level where the patient is referred for specialized treatment;
- and a tertiary level with responsibility for professional advancement and
development of Slovenian health care.
At the primary level, public institutions were linked together by ensuring the performance
of certain functions in a single location, e.g. establishing Central Emergency Centres, and
setting up networks, e.g. Primary Health Care of Gorenjska. This guarantees patients
have better access to health care services (e.g. laboratory and radiology services), while
treatment is more effective and of a better quality. The changes can result in the
potential reduction in non-medical personnel which enables an increase in the availability
of medical personnel. The lack of accessible primary health services in some places e.g.
rural areas, is being met by promoting the establishment of rural practices in smaller
places or by financial incentives to stimulate provision public services.
Another initiative is to reorganise primary care practices. Learning practices have been
created. These are practices where a trainee specializing in family medicine will provide
care for his own list of patients in his own premises, with the support of a nurse. But the
trainee will be under a mentor's supervision. In this way, once the trainee has completed
his training, a new primary care team is ready to be set up, with the allocated financial
means necessary to guarantee no disruption in service provision.
The working methods of learning practices will be similar to those of 'referential practices'
which are practices of physicians working in the public sector who have high levels of
expertise. They provide a broad range of services to defined groups of patients, stressing
integrated care, use of chronic patient treatment protocols, prevention, quality indicators,
and making effective use of laboratory service. These primary care practices, combining
physicians and nurses, provide the optimal service provision and enable a broad range of
clinical tasks to be carried out at the primary level thereby increasing quality, safety and
cost effectiveness in patient treatment.
After the Ministry of Health Project Board adopted a strategic document and action plan,
a system of learning and referential practices has been gradually implemented, together
with new medical training. By the end of 2011, almost 15% of primary care practices had
been reconfigured in this way. The initial success can be primarily attributed to a clear
33
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
vision for the development and design of the strategy and the implementation of the
action plan. The objectives were publicly presented to all stakeholders; and there was
excellent media support. However, there is now an urgent need to carry out an
evaluation of the implementation process and progress.
1051
1052
1053
1054
34
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1055
1056
BOX E:
1057
Finland: the new Health Care Act of 2010
1058
In Finland, since 1972 primary health care has been organized by municipalities which
have some 160 local health centres (that may function in several locations). During the
past years, however, there have been problems in access to doctors in many places and
the waiting times for appointments with a doctor have been quite long. Therefore,
legislative changes were implemented in 2010 with the new Health Care Act
(1326/2010). The main aims of the act are to promote customer orientation in service, to
improve quality and patient safety, to promote health, to narrow regional health
differences and to control the growth of health care expenses.
Primary health care is defined in the Act in the following way: Primary health care
consists of public health services provided by local authorities, health promotion, and any
related provision of health consulting and health checks, oral health care, medical
rehabilitation, occupational health care, environmental health care, as well as emergency
medical care, outpatient care, home nursing, at-home hospital care and inpatient care,
mental health services, and substance abuse services where these are not covered by
social services or specialized medical care.
Primary health services in a health centre in Finland include:
•
Consultations with a doctor for people who have become ill and for the treatment
of chronic illnesses - patients may be referred to specialists or for further examination
•
Often a ward for patients requiring nursing care
•
Health counselling, including health education, contraception advice, maternity
and child welfare and medical examinations
•
Screening and vaccinations
•
Oral health services
•
School and student health care
•
Mental health services
•
Emergency treatment, emergency cases also handled by hospitals
•
Home care services
The Health Care Act contains a common resourcing obligation for primary health care.
Each municipality has to assign enough resources to health and welfare promotion and to
health care services. In order to produce the required health care services, each
municipality or hospital district of a joint municipal authority must employ an adequate
number of health care professionals.
Health promotion in the Act has a wide definition. It includes actions aimed at individuals,
the population, communities, and living environments with a view to maintaining and
improving health, work ability and functional capacity, influencing determinants of health,
preventing illnesses, accident injuries, and other health problems, strengthening mental
health, and reducing health inequalities between different population groups, as well as
systematic targeting of resources in a manner that promotes better public health.
The Health Care Act strongly emphasized equality. The authorities of the municipality and
the joint authorities of a hospital district must ensure that health care services are
available and universally accessible in the area to the residents that they are responsible
for.
35
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
The basis for providing health care services are the Uniform Grounds for Medical and
Dental Care that the Ministry of Social Affairs and National Institute for Welfare and
Health have drafted. The authorities must monitor the situation to see that uniform
standards are achieved in their operational field.
1059
1060
1061
1062
1063
1064
1065
1066
1067
1068
36
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1069
1070
3.4.
1071
1072
1073
1074
1075
1076
1077
1078
1079
1080
1081
1082
3.4.1.
Introduction
This section discusses issues in financing primary care, with a focus on how financing
policy can affect the performance of primary care in general and in particular how it
affects coordination within primary care and between primary care and other forms of
health care. It considers three main issues: ensuring an adequate level of financing for
primary care; ensuring equitable access to primary care; and provider payment to
promote efficiency and quality in primary care delivery, including care coordination. While
these issues are discussed separately in the following sub-sections, it is important to note
that they are closely related to each other. A final sub-section highlights areas for further
research.
1083
1084
1085
1086
1087
1088
1089
1090
1091
1092
1093
1094
1095
1096
1097
1098
1099
1100
1101
1102
1103
1104
1105
1106
1107
1108
1109
1110
Financing primary care
3.4.2.
Ensuring an adequate level of financing for primary care
Health systems need to be adequately financed if they are to achieve their goals to the
greatest extent possible given a country’s means (WHO 2008). They also need to be able
to make the best use of available resources (efficiency). Adequacy in financing the
primary care sector depends on public resource allocation processes at national level (the
size of the public budget for the health sector including revenues from social insurance
contributions) and on the sectoral level (resources allocated to primary care versus other
sectors).
Spending on the health system
At national level, the absolute amount of money available for health is influenced by a
country’s income (GDP) and the government’s fiscal context (the size of government
measured as a share of GDP). Richer countries spend more on health per person than
poorer countries, although the extent to which national income drives health system
expenditure growth is the subject of debate (Maisonneuve and Oliveira Martins 2013).
Since GDP and the size of government are not immediately amenable to health policy
levers, a more relevant indicator for health financing policy is the share of total public
spending allocated to the health sector. The ‘priority’ given to the health sector in public
budgetary processes6 affects levels of public spending on health, which in turn affects
levels of out-of-pocket spending on health. Countries with similar degrees of fiscal space
may give very different levels of priority to health. Figure 2 shows how EU countries vary
in the share of public spending allocated to the health sector. It also shows how countries
with lower priority tend to have higher levels of out-of-pocket spending on health. We
discuss the implications of this in the next sub-section.
6
This includes decisions about contribution rates for social insurance contributions or mandatory
health insurance premiums, which are counted as public spending in national health accounts.
37
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1111
1112
1113
1114
1115
1116
1117
1118
1119
1120
1121
1122
1123
1124
1125
1126
1127
1128
Figure 2 Public spending on health as a share of total public spending and outof-pocket spending on health as a share of total spending on health, European
Union, 2011
Source: WHO Global Health Expenditure Database 2014
Spending on primary care
Once the overall level of public spending on health is established, the relative share
allocated to primary care versus other sectors comes into play. Recent research shows
that stronger primary care systems (see 3.1.1. for a definition) are associated with
higher levels of total spending on health, but that more comprehensive primary care
systems are associated with a slower rate of spending growth (Kringos et al 2013).
It is difficult to compare spending on primary care across countries due to the absence of
a uniform definition and substantial national differences in primary care structure and
38
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1129
1130
1131
1132
1133
1134
organisation. Figure 3 shows how public and private spending on ‘ambulatory care’ varies
as a share of total spending on health. These comparative data should be interpreted
with caution, however, since in many countries ambulatory care includes both primary
care and specialist care provided by office-based physicians. Also, some of the countries
in which total spending on ambulatory care is relatively high rely quite heavily on private
financing (for example, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Greece).
1135
1136
1137
1138
1139
1140
1141
1142
1143
1144
1145
1146
1147
1148
1149
1150
1151
Figure 3 Public and private spending on ambulatory care as a share (%) of total
spending on health, EU OECD countries, 2011
Source: OECD Health Data 2014
Note: no data available for Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom
Decisions about allocating resources to different sectors within the health system should
consider what is appropriate in terms of cost-effective and patient-centred care delivery.
Where treatment alternatives are available, or a service can be provided in a range of
settings, it is particularly important to consider cost-effectiveness, so that more can be
achieved with available resources.
However, while there are strong quality and efficiency arguments in favour of providing
care in settings that are closer to a patient’s home, in practice many countries have
struggled to move care out of hospitals, especially where the necessary community-
39
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1152
1153
1154
1155
1156
1157
1158
1159
1160
1161
1162
1163
1164
1165
1166
1167
1168
1169
1170
1171
1172
based infrastructure is lacking (Royal College of Nursing 2013). Investing in primary care
and other community-based services is therefore likely to be a pre-requisite for moving
care out of hospitals and, ultimately, for improving efficiency in service delivery. Other
pre-requisites include changes in the health professionals' skill mix, so that nurses and
others can play an enhanced role, and increased community orientation in training health
professionals (Frenk et al 2010), to ensure primary care workers have the skills to
address a wide range of health problems.
EU countries have adopted different strategies to prioritise financing for primary care,
including giving primary care providers responsibility for purchasing specialist care
(Figueras et al 2005, Saltman et al 2006). Results from a range of primary care
purchasing modalities in the National Health Service in England suggest mixed effects,
with some improvements in broadening the scope of primary care services, but questions
about conflicts of interest and other aspects of accountability.
More recently, in response to fiscal constraints exacerbated by the economic crisis,
strategies used to protect spending on primary care have included targeting budget or
price reductions at hospitals and pharmaceuticals, keeping primary care budgets intact;
protecting or increasing the salaries of primary care staff; and earmarking taxes for
public health programmes delivered in primary care (Thomson et al 2014 in press).
1173
1174
1175
1176
1177
1178
1179
1180
1181
1182
1183
1184
1185
1186
1187
1188
1189
1190
1191
1192
1193
1194
1195
1196
3.4.3.
Ensuring equitable access to primary care
Ensuring there is enough money in the health system to provide good-quality primary
care is an important first step, but revenues need to be raised, allocated and spent in
such a way as to ensure the whole population is able to access needed and effective
services without encountering financial or other barriers. In operational terms, this
means thinking about equity in financing, financial protection and equity in the use of
services (a proxy for equity of access).
Equity in financing and financial protection
Cross-national analysis of the composition and level of spending on health shows two
things. First, financing mechanisms vary in terms of the financial burden they impose on
richer and poorer households.7 Direct taxes (eg on income) and social insurance
contributions are found to be generally much more ‘progressive’ than indirect taxes (eg
VAT) and out-of-pocket payments (OOPs), and OOPs are usually highly ‘regressive’
(Wagstaff and van Doorslaer 1999). Whether a progressive distribution is considered to
be fairer than a proportionate distribution will vary across countries, but all countries can
promote equity in financing by reducing their reliance on OOPs.
Second, the level of OOPs is also closely linked to financial protection. Globally, once
OOPs comprise less than 20% of total health spending, the incidence of people facing
financial hardship when accessing services decreases significantly (Xu et al 2007). In EU
countries, where OOP levels are relatively low by international standards (Figure 3), and
social protection systems are relatively strong, policy-makers should consider the
7
A progressive distribution of the financing burden implies the rich spend a greater share of their
income on health than the poor; a proportionate distribution implies that all households spend the
same share; and a regressive distribution implies the poor spend a greater share of their income
on health than the rich.
40
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1197
1198
1199
1200
1201
1202
1203
1204
1205
1206
1207
1208
1209
1210
1211
1212
1213
1214
1215
1216
1217
1218
1219
1220
1221
1222
1223
1224
1225
1226
1227
1228
1229
1230
1231
1232
1233
1234
1235
1236
1237
1238
1239
1240
1241
composition of OOPs and user charges policy design in addition to the share of OOPs in
health spending (see below).
Ensuring that the whole population has access to a comprehensive range of primary care
services without facing financial hardship is critical to promoting financial protection and
equitable access. It is also critical to promoting efficiency in service delivery. If primary
care is not easily accessible, people will either delay seeking care, which may mean they
are sicker and more expensive to treat when they do finally make contact with the health
system, or they may be forced to use more expensive forms of care such as emergency
departments. In both cases, the outcome is likely to be inefficient.
Is there a role for user charges?
Most EU countries provide universal access to a reasonably comprehensive basket of
primary care services. In contrast to population and service coverage, however, policies
on user charges vary substantially across countries. Around half of all EU countries do
not charge patients for publicly financed primary care office consultations,8 but almost all
charge for outpatient prescription drugs.9 As a result, individual spending on prescription
drugs accounts for a relatively large share of catastrophic OOP spending in many
countries, particularly among poorer people (Kronenberg 2014; Võrk 2009).
The reasons used to justify user charges include the following: to raise revenue for the
health system, to reduce ‘unnecessary’ demand for health services or to direct people to
more cost-effective services or patterns of use (so-called ‘value-based’ user charges). In
general, however, they are limited in their ability to promote health system goals. As a
means of raising revenue, they are both inequitable and inefficient in comparison to
pooled funding. As a means of moderating demand, they are constrained by the fact that
they do not have a selective effect between necessary and unnecessary treatment.
Consistent evidence indicates that people do not distinguish between health services or
prescription drugs that are essential and those that are not essential; user charges
therefore reduce the use of low- and high-value health services in almost equal measure
(Newhouse et al 1993, Swartz 2010). Consequently, applying user charges across the
board is likely to deter people from using appropriate care, even where charges are low
and protection mechanisms are in place. This undermines financial protection and can
have a negative impact on health (Chernew and Newhouse 2008).
In addition, applying user charges to relatively cost-effective utilisation, such as
obtaining outpatient prescription drugs in primary care, has been shown to shift
utilisation to settings where charges are not in place, which is often more expensive,
such as inpatient and emergency care (Tamblyn et al 2001). Overall, there is little
evidence to suggest that user charges lead to more appropriate use or long-term cost
control or successfully contain public spending on health care.
User charges could potentially contribute to enhancing efficiency in the use of health
services if they are applied selectively based on value. A value-based approach would
8
Publicly financed primary care visits are free in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and the United
Kingdom.
9
The exception is the Netherlands, which operates a reference pricing system for outpatient
prescription drugs, so patients only pay if they use a drug priced above the reference price.
41
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1242
1243
1244
1245
1246
1247
1248
1249
1250
1251
1252
1253
1254
1255
1256
1257
1258
1259
1260
1261
1262
1263
1264
1265
1266
1267
1268
1269
1270
1271
1272
1273
1274
1275
1276
1277
1278
1279
1280
1281
1282
1283
1284
1285
1286
1287
1288
1289
1290
1291
remove financial barriers to cost-effective health care, clearly signal value to patients and
providers and ensure that patient and provider incentives were aligned (Chernew et al
2007). Such an approach is not a panacea, however, and is most likely to be useful when
user charges are already widely used, there is clear evidence of value and it is politically
unfeasible to target providers (Thomson et al 2013).
A critical question for policy is whether user charges are effective in addressing the
causes of ‘unnecessary’ demand or inappropriate use, particularly given that most use is
initiated by providers. To avoid unfairly penalising patients for treatment decisions made
by providers, user charges, if they are to be used at all, should be applied sparingly and
accompanied by measures to ensure appropriate prescribing and care delivery. In almost
all instances, targeting providers with appropriate incentives will be more effective than
targeting patients.
Where user charges are applied, evidence underlines the importance of putting in place
adequate protection mechanisms so that the financial burden weighs least heavily on
people with low incomes and people who regularly use health care. To secure some
degree of financial protection, it is also advisable to cap the amount of money patients
are required to pay for a given service or a given period of time. EU countries such as
Austria and Germany are beginning to set caps as a proportion of income, which may
have a more protective effect than flat-rate caps.
Finally, it is important to note that indirect costs incurred by patients when using health
services – for example, paying for transportation or taking time off work to see a doctor
– can be substantial and undermine access and financial protection.
Allocating financial resources to purchasers
How public revenues for the health sector are allocated to purchasing agents has an
important bearing on equitable access to health services, including primary care services.
Resource allocation processes from ‘national’ to ‘sub-national’ level play a critical role
here. The re-allocation may be to lower-level geographic or non-geographically
determined entities, including regions or health insurers. An important issue here is risk
adjustment of allocated resources to reflect health needs, so that more resources flow to
areas or entities covering people with greater health need. Where competing entities
such as health insurers bear financial risk, robust risk adjustment is a necessary
prerequisite for a well-functioning system of regulated competition (Van de Ven and
Schut 2009). Although the evidence in favour of risk-adjusted resource allocation is
strong, any process that redistributes from one area or entity to another is inevitably
subject to politicisation and can therefore be difficult to achieve in practice.
Evidence of unequal access and access barriers in primary care
Table 3 shows how countries vary in terms of the affordability of care provided by
specialists and GPs. In every EU country people find GP care to be considerably more
affordable than specialist care. This is confirmed by other research showing that in OECD
countries, the better-off are more likely than poorer people to visit specialists and
dentists and undergo breast and cervical cancer screening than poorer people, whereas
GP visits are more equally distributed across income groups (OECD Health Working Paper
2012). The authors of the OECD research also highlight the important effect of health
financing policy on equity in the use of health services, but note that some of inequalities
in health service use cannot be explained by financial barriers.
42
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1292
1293
1294
Table 3 Share (%) of individuals surveyed reporting health care to be unaffordable, by
type of care, EU28, 2007
Medical or surgical specialists
1295
1296
Family doctors or GPs
PT
78
EL
43
EL
71
CY
39
CY
66
PT
37
BG
63
IE
33
RO
60
RO
24
FI
59
HU
18
HR
56
FI
17
MT
54
HR
17
IE
53
IT
16
IT
49
SI
16
FR
48
BG
16
HU
45
BE
14
LT
40
SK
14
AT
39
EU27
11
SI
39
DE
10
BE
38
LT
10
EE
37
MT
9
EU27
35
FR
8
PL
31
AT
8
DE
28
PL
8
LV
25
ES
7
SK
24
NL
6
ES
22
EE
6
NL
21
CZ
5
CZ
15
LV
5
LU
14
LU
4
UK
13
SE
4
DK
7
UK
4
SE
7
DK
1
Source: European Commission (2007)
43
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1297
1298
1299
1300
1301
1302
1303
1304
1305
1306
1307
1308
1309
1310
1311
1312
1313
1314
1315
1316
1317
1318
1319
1320
1321
1322
1323
1324
1325
1326
1327
1328
1329
1330
1331
1332
1333
1334
1335
1336
1337
1338
1339
1340
1341
1342
1343
1344
1345
3.4.4.
Paying providers to promote efficiency and quality in primary
care delivery, including financial incentives to improve care
coordination
Provider payment objectives and limits to ‘pure’ payment methods
The context in which providers work and the way in which they are paid can have
profound effects on the allocation of resources in the health system and on the quality,
volume and cost of health services (Ellis and Miller 2009; Langenbrunner et al 2009). In
theory, provider payment methods should meet a wide range of goals relating to quality,
responsiveness, health improvement, efficiency and costs, as set out in Box 2. In
practice, no single method is able to achieve all of these goals; each has advantages and
disadvantages (Barnum et al 1995) and, importantly, none on its own is conducive to
enhancing the quality of care. While fee-for-service encourages activity, in contrast to
salary and capitation, it also encourages over-treatment.
Box 2 Potential goals for effective provider payment systems
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
Enable and encourage providers to deliver accepted procedures of care to patients in a
high quality, efficient, and patient-centred manner
Support and encourage providers to invest, innovate, and take other actions that lead to
improvements in efficiency, quality, and patient outcomes and/or reduced costs
Not encourage or reward overtreatment, use of unnecessarily expensive services,
unnecessary hospitalization or rehospitalization, provision of services with poor patient
outcomes, inefficient service delivery, or choices about preference-sensitive services that
are not compatible with patient desires
Not reward providers for undertreatment of patients or for the exclusion of patients with
serious conditions or multiple risk factors
Not reward provider errors or adverse events
Make providers responsible for quality and costs within their control, but not for quality
and costs outside their control
Support and encourage coordination of care among multiple providers, and discourage
providers from shifting costs to other providers without explicit agreements to do so
Encourage patient choices that improve adherence to recommended care processes,
improve outcomes, and reduce costs of care
Not reward short-term cost reductions at the expense of longer-term cost reductions and
not increase indirect costs in order to reduce direct costs
Not encourage providers to reduce costs for one purchaser by increasing costs for other
purchasers, unless the changes bring payments more in line with costs for both/all payers
Minimize the administrative costs for providers in complying with the payment system
rules
Multiple payers should align standards and methods of payment to avoid unnecessary
differences in incentives for providers.
Source: Miller 2007 as cited in Langenbrunner et al 2009
Adapting payment methods so that they are better aligned with health system
goals
Because pure payment methods contain conflicting incentives for productivity and cost
control and rarely encourage quality, many countries have adapted them so that they are
more likely to achieve desired outcomes. Adaptations may involve adjusting capitation
44
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1346
1347
1348
1349
1350
1351
1352
1353
1354
1355
1356
1357
payment to account for patient risk, blending payment methods (Robinson 2001) and
bundling or unbundling payments (Table 4), all with the aim of correcting undesirable
incentives. For example, countries increasingly use fee-for-service with capitation in
primary care, to encourage the provision of preventive services or home visits.
Table 5 provides an overview of changes in GP payment in selected European countries.
Although there are many differences in provider payment across countries, a clear trend
has been to move away from reimbursement of the costs incurred by providers in
delivering services, towards prospectively set payments that reflect outputs rather than
inputs.
Table 4 The spectrum of bundled vs unbundled provider payment methods
Bundled
Global
budget /
salary
Periodic
lump sum
independent
of number
of patients
1358
1359
1360
1361
1362
1363
1364
1365
1366
1367
1368
1369
1370
Capitation
Per period
Per
patient
pathway
Periodic
lump sum
per enrolled
patient for a
range of
services
Periodic
lump sum
per
patient
diagnosed
with a
particular
condition
Lump sum
for all
services
required for
a defined
pathway of
care
Per case /
diagnosis
/
procedure
Payment
per case
based on
grouping of
patients
with similar
diagnoses /
procedures
or resource
needs
Per day
Unbundled
Fee-forservie
Payment for
each system
of service
and patient
contact
Payment
per day of
stay in
hospital or
other
facility
Source: Charlesworth et al 2012
Table 5 GP payment in selected European countries, 2010
Salary FeeCapitation Perfomance- Integrated
forbased
care
service
payment
payment
Belgium
Yes
Yes
Yes
Denmark
Yes
Yes
Yes**
Finland
Yes
Yes
Yes
France
Yes
Yes
Yes
Germany
Yes
Yes*
The
**
Yes
Yes
Yes*
Netherlands
Sweden
Yes
UK
**
Yes
Yes
(England)
Other
Yes
Source: Kroneman et al 2013
Notes:
Text in italic: the type of remuneration is new for the country
Underlined
text:
the
type
of
remuneration
has
changed
since
2000
* Fairly new and does not form a significant share of total revenue
** In the Netherlands 7-12% of GPs are in salaried employment with independent GPs;
in the UK the share of salaried GPs rose from 10% in 2004 to 19% in 2008
45
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1371
1372
1373
1374
1375
BOX F:
Bundled payments in the Netherlands
Since 2010 The Netherlands has adopted a system of bundled payments for various
chronic diseases to improve integrated services delivery. Depending on the long-term
outcomes, this may be the starting point for introducing risk-adjusted, integrated
capitation payments for multidisciplinary care groups offering primary care, speciality
care to defined groups of patients in the future (De Bakker et al 2012).
The introduction of a system of ’bundled payments’ for the care of chronic diseases has
contributed to the development of care groups for a particular chronic disease such as for
diabetes care, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care, and vascular risk
management. Care groups (often exclusively led by general practitioners) are responsible
for the organisation, co-ordination and delivery of care within the care programmes they
have contracted with a health insurance fund (RIVM 2012).
A single fee is paid by health insurers to a contracting entity (the ‘care group’) which
should cover all primary care needs required by patients with these chronic diseases.
The care group sub-contracts general practitioners, medical specialists, nurses and other
disciplines. Approximately 78% of the general practitioners in the Netherlands are
member of a care group (van Til 2010).
Recent evaluations (e.g. De Bakker et al 2012) have shown both positive and negative
effects of the bundled payment system. On the one hand, first results seem to indicate
that the system of bundled payments is conducive to the organisation and coordination of
care. It also seems to result in improved coherence to care protocols and better
collaboration among health professionals. However, a negative impact is seen on the
administrative burden as a result of outdated information and communication technology
systems. Also, price variation has been noticed among care groups which is probably
caused by differences in the amount of care provided. In addition the dominance of
general practitioners in the care groups is not seen as a positive outcome. However,
more time is needed to evaluate the full implementation of the system thoroughly. It is
too early to draw conclusions on the impact on the quality of care, costs or health
outcomes.
1376
1377
1378
1379
1380
1381
1382
46
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1383
1384
1385
1386
1387
1388
1389
1390
1391
1392
1393
1394
1395
1396
1397
1398
1399
1400
1401
1402
1403
1404
1405
1406
1407
1408
1409
1410
1411
1412
1413
1414
A more recent trend has been to base payment on diagnosis and link it to the provision
of care for a specific period of time, to encourage the provision of care that is coordinated
among providers and sectors.
Figure 4 shows how GP incomes vary across EU countries and within countries depending
on provider payment method. Although these data have been adjusted to make them
more comparable, they should be interpreted with some caution. In Austria, Denmark,
the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, the income of self-employed GPs is around three
times higher than the average wage, whereas in France and Belgium it is around double.
Figure 4 GP annual remuneration in selected EU countries (US$ PPP), 2011
Source: OECD Health Data 2014
Note: only shows the EU OECD countries for which data are available
Most of the payment innovations described in this section share one common feature
which is that they pay for (expected) outputs, not for outcomes. It has been suggested
that paying for outcomes may be a better way to meet health system goals.
Linking provider payment to performance
P4P is not a payment method in itself, but an approach used to refine traditional payment
methods. It can be defined as: “The adaptation of provider payment methods to include
specific incentives and metrics explicitly to promote the pursuit of quality and other
health system performance objectives” (Cashin et al 2014 in press: 6). Between
countries there is significant variation in the size of P4P bonus payments. In Europe, their
contribution to a professional’s remuneration ranges from 1% to 25%, although large
shares are much less common than small shares (Cashin et al 2014 in press).
47
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1415
1416
1417
1418
1419
1420
1421
1422
1423
1424
1425
1426
1427
1428
1429
1430
1431
1432
1433
1434
1435
1436
1437
1438
1439
1440
1441
1442
1443
1444
1445
1446
1447
1448
1449
1450
1451
1452
1453
1454
1455
1456
1457
1458
1459
1460
1461
1462
1463
1464
1465
The evidence on P4P is fragmented and inconclusive, partly because P4P programmes
have often been implemented without adequate monitoring and evaluation, the
evaluative methods available have been limited, and published studies have tended to
focus on narrow aspects of performance rather than placing programmes in context
(Cashin et al 2014 in press). In general, however, the evidence fails to show a
‘breakthrough’ in quality improvement and there are questions about the size and effects
of unintended consequences, aspects of programme design and implementation that may
be associated with their effectiveness, and the cost-effectiveness of programmes (Cashin
et al 2014 in press, Christianson et al 2007, Eijkenaar 2011, Frolich et al 2007, Damberg
et al 2009, Guthrie et al 2010, Van Herck et al 2010).
Some reviews conclude that the ‘spillover’ effect of P4P programmes may be their most
important contribution; that is, their ability to reinforce broader performance initiatives
through improved collection and use of data, faster uptake of IT, the development of
quality improvement tools such as guideline-based decision aids, a sharper focus on
priorities, and better overall governance and accountability (Damberg et al 2009, Van
Herck et al 2010).
This finding, combined with evidence of negative, unintended consequences, suggests
that performance measures and incentive payments should play a supporting rather than
a central role (Cashin et al 2014 in press). By strengthening data systems and feedback
loops, and reinforcing a culture of accountability, P4P programmes can help to establish
or sustain a cycle of performance improvement in the health system. In this way, they
may enable a shift towards provider payment systems that define output better (for
example, specifying continuity of care, disease management and clinical guidelines) and
hold providers accountable not just for volume but also for processes and outcomes.
Box 3 Factors contributing to the effectiveness of P4P programmes and design
and implementation features that weaken the incentive
Factors that contribute to effectiveness:
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
Programmes are most effective when they are aligned with and reinforce overarching
strategies, objectives and clinical guidelines that are accepted by stakeholders.
Programmes are more successful when the incentive is integrated into and complements
the underlying payment system.
Programmes are more effective when they focus on specific performance problems that
require broad-based approaches for improvement.
The structure of service delivery is important for whether or not providers can and do
respond to the incentives, and programmes tend to favour larger, more urban providers.
What to avoid:
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
Complex and non-transparent programme structure.
Selective participation in programme domains.
Specific incentives to improve the organisation of service delivery.
Source: Cashin et al 2014 in press
Factors to consider when using financial incentives to encourage coordinated
care
Improving the performance of one part of the health system is more likely to be effective
if the process is informed by a whole-system view. Changing the way in which primary
care providers are paid may not be sufficient to stimulate performance improvement,
48
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1466
1467
1468
1469
1470
1471
1472
1473
1474
1475
1476
1477
1478
1479
1480
1481
particularly where care coordination is concerned. It is therefore important for financial
incentives to be aligned across the whole system, including hospitals and purchasing
organisations.
While P4P looks promising in some contexts, it is still in its infancy and we need more
information on key aspects of policy design. In the context of care coordination and a
greater role for team work, the role of incentives for individuals vs incentives for teams is
a critical issue.
There is no ideal method of paying providers. The effectiveness of any payment system
will be influenced by context and all payment systems need to be carefully monitored and
evaluated (Langenbrunner et al 2009). Financial incentives alone are also unlikely to
move provider behaviour in appropriate directions, and should be accompanied by other
tools, including monitoring and feedback.
1482
1483
1484
1485
1486
1487
1488
1489
1490
1491
1492
1493
1494
1495
1496
1497
1498
1499
1500
1501
1502
1503
1504
1505
1506
1507
1508
1509
1510
1511
1512
1513
3.4.5.
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
Areas for future research
It is difficult to estimate and compare spending on primary care across countries due
to the absence of a uniform definition of the services and providers involved in
primary care. While some countries have found ways to define their primary care
services and costs, there is a need for comparative research to improve our
understanding of differences between EU countries.
The literature consistently finds blended payment methods to be better than pure
payment methods. However, we do not know enough about optimal combinations of
payment systems. More structured research in this area is needed.
Optimal changes in payment methods are likely to depend on the starting point: the
financing and organisation of a health system, its problems, its goals. Reforms should
fully reflect and account for context.
It is difficult to compare provider remuneration across countries. Better methods are
needed here too.
Many payment systems aim to improve the performance of a particular type of care
(hospital care, GP care). However, interactions between different sectors of the health
system need to be better understood and accounted for in provider payment reform,
particularly if the aim is to improve care coordination.
Service delivery systems need to be flexible enough to meet the varying needs of
different people at different times – one size does not fit all patients or even all the
needs of a single patient. Again, provider payment reforms need to account for this.
Financial incentives are not the only available tool and need to be accompanied by
other tools to ensure service delivery is in line with health system goals.
Provider payment requires constant monitoring and evaluation, but evaluative
methods are often limited and do not capture important dimensions (including
context).
Used effectively, P4P programmes can be an important governance tool and catalyst
for health system performance improvement. However, questions remain about the
size and effects of unintended consequences; aspects of programme design and
implementation that may be associated with their effectiveness; and the costeffectiveness of programmes.
49
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1514
1515
1516
1517
1518
1519
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
If primary care is to be at the centre of the health system, we need more research on
referrals and efficient information flows to and from secondary care.
What sort of purchasers are most likely to ensure coordinated care?
What type of provider payment is most likely to encourage team-based care delivery?
An appropriate skill mix?
Can we develop primary care quality indicators at the EU level?
50
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1520
1521
1522
1523
1524
1525
BOX G:
Remuneration of GPs in Spain
Primary Health Care in Spain is defined as an accessible and comprehensive service. It
also plays the role of gate-keeper, and referral to other services. It is organized in health
teams. The health-team includes General Practitioners, Paediatricians, Nurses, and, may
also include Physiotherapists, Dentists, Midwives, and other professionals. There are well
equipped Primary Health Centres in every district, covering populations of about 30.000
inhabitants. Electronic clinical records are kept for every patient. E-prescription is
available in the majority of the Regions. The Regional Health Services are responsible for
the planning and management of health care, and for the selection, contract and
remuneration of health professionals.
Since 1960 the standard model of payment for GPs in Spanish Health System was based
on capitation (80% of income) and time-salary (20%). Then in 1985-1990 this was
changed to 20% on capitation, 70-78% on salary, and 2-10% pay-for performance. This
model has been maintained, with some variations in different regions.
Pay-for-performance was introduced in the former National Institute of Health from 1987,
with different results (Lamata et al 1990). One problem was the selection and
measurement of objectives and outcomes. Another problem was the distribution of the
incentives between the individual part and the team. A third was the decision about the
weight of this kind of remuneration in relation with the other parts. It also necessitated a
process of cultural change.
Nowadays the Regional Health Services negotiate and set objectives for PHC teams
annually (e.g. programmes or activities related with health promotion activities, control
and treatment of chronic conditions, prevention of diseases, training activities,
coordination with other specialists, activities with schools or with residential homes, use
of generics, waiting lists, quality of electronic clinical records, patient satisfaction, etc.).
The managers have a set of indicators and they inform the doctors about their evolution.
The P4P is paid according to the results. Normally there is participation of professionals in
the evaluation teams.
1526
1527
1528
1529
1530
1531
1532
1533
1534
1535
51
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1536
1537
1538
1539
1540
1541
1542
1543
1544
1545
1546
1547
1548
1549
1550
1551
1552
1553
1554
1555
1556
1557
1558
1559
1560
1561
1562
1563
1564
1565
1566
1567
1568
1569
1570
1571
1572
3.4.6.
Conclusions and recommendations
1. Primary care definition: The Expert Panel considers primary care to be the
provision of universally accessible, person-centered, comprehensive health and
community services provided by a team of professionals accountable for addressing a
large majority of personal health needs. These services are delivered in a sustained
partnership with patients and informal caregivers, in the context of family and
community, and play a central role in the overall coordination and continuity of
people’s care.
2.
The rationale for strengthening primary care: Primary care is responsive to the
challenges facing health systems: the demographical and epidemiological transition
towards chronic diseases and multi-morbidity; patients being active partners looking
critically at quality of services; increasing social inequalities in health; increasing
complexity in health care, which requires integration within health care and with
other sectors (e.g. social sector, work, education, environment); new needs and
approaches in continuity of care; and continuous adaptation to change in a
globalizing world.
The Expert Panel finds the evidence strong enough to agree that strong primary care
systems contribute to equity and improved health outcomes. Further strengthening
primary care by making it the preferred point of contact for the large majority of
health needs and by ensuring it provides comprehensive, coordinated and personfocused care will improve its effectiveness in delivering these objectives.
3.
Referral systems and gatekeeping: The Expert Panel emphasizes the importance
of using primary care as the preferred entry point into the health system. Effective
referral systems involve more than gatekeeping and the aim of gatekeeping should
be to guide patients towards the most appropriate and cost-effective forms of care,
and not to limit access to care. New technology enables specialist expertise to be
integrated into primary care without physically transferring patients from one
location to another. In caring for people with chronic conditions, a "spiral approach"
combining horizontal and vertical referrals may be required. Special attention should
be paid to care for "urgent" problems.
The Expert Panel considers referral systems, including gatekeeping, to have strong
advantages but, to be fully effective, they must involve the following factors:
1573
1574
1575
-
a strong and responsive high-quality primary care system, organized in
(interprofessional) group practices and health centres, with a practice-based
patient list and opportunities for second opinions at the primary care level.
1576
1577
1578
1579
1580
-
a patient-centered approach exploring the needs, expectations and goals of
the patient, using appropriate communication skills is important in order to
start the referral process appropriately. The importance of the continuous
personal relationship between the GP and the patient (through e.g. a "patient
list") is emphasized for the successful implementation of this requirement.
52
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1581
1582
-
primary care providers have timely access to the results of medical imaging
and other diagnostic tests
1583
1584
1585
-
secondary care responds promptly and in a coordinated way once patients are
referred from primary care, with fast-track facilities where a serious diagnosis
is suspected (life-threatening conditions in children, cancer etc)
1586
1587
1588
-
patient management based on maximal subsidiarity providing follow-up as
much as is effective at the primary care level to avoid long waiting times for
referred patients
1589
1590
-
referral processes are facilitated and enhanced through electronic procedures
as much as possible
1591
1592
-
interactions between referral processes and payment systems are taken into
account and incentives (both financial and non-financial) are aligned
1593
1594
1595
1596
1597
1598
1599
1600
1601
1602
1603
1604
1605
1606
1607
1608
1609
1610
1611
1612
1613
1614
1615
1616
1617
1618
1619
1620
1621
1622
1623
1624
1625
1626
4. Financing primary care: The Expert Panel recommends that all EU member states
ensure an adequate level of financing for primary care, promote equitable access to
primary care and provide incentives for efficiency and quality in primary care
delivery, including care coordination. Areas requiring policy attention include: the
share of public spending allocated to health in countries where this share is low;
methods for allocating resources within health systems, both across different health
care sectors and across geographical areas; levels of population and service
coverage; the role of user charges; and reform of provider payment.
Ensuring that the whole population has access to a comprehensive range of primary
care services without facing financial hardship is critical to promoting financial
protection, equitable access and efficiency in service delivery. The Expert Panel notes
that user charges policy and design varies substantially across countries. Given the
lack of evidence to show that user charges lead to more appropriate use or longterm cost control, and noting the significant role of providers in initiating use and
prescribing drugs, the Expert Panel stresses that where user charges are applied,
policy makers should aim to protect people with low incomes and people who
regularly use health care. In general, countries should engage in better monitoring of
the effects of user charges on equity, quality, efficiency and outcomes.
The Expert Panel has identified a trend towards blended provider payment systems
in primary care, often combining risk-adjusted capitation with some fee-for-service
reimbursement. More recently, countries have introduced performance-related
programmes that aim to enhance quality of care. These programmes can help to
establish or sustain performance improvements, but are most effective when they
are aligned with and reinforce overarching strategies, objectives and clinical
guidelines that are accepted by stakeholders; when financial incentives are
integrated into and complement the underlying payment system; and when they
focus on specific performance problems that require broad-based approaches for
improvement. The Panel notes that financial incentives alone are unlikely to move
provider behaviour in appropriate directions, and should be accompanied by other
tools, including monitoring and feedback.
53
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1627
1628
1629
1630
1631
1632
1633
1634
1635
1636
1637
1638
1639
1640
1641
1642
1643
1644
1645
1646
1647
1648
1649
1650
1651
1652
1653
1654
1655
1656
1657
1658
1659
1660
1661
1662
1663
1664
1665
1666
1667
1668
1669
1670
1671
1672
1673
1674
1675
5.
Research questions: The Expert Panel has identified the following research
questions as priorities underpinning the development of primary care in the EU.
A. General research questions
•
•
•
•
Research on the implementation and impact on quality and outcomes of eHealth and M-Health developments
Research on new forms of diagnostic tests (HTA), including their use by
primary care providers.
Research is needed to explore appropriate ways to strengthen personcentredness, integrating the goals of the individual and to enhance
comprehensiveness, integrating health care and social care.
Research on the role and place of informal care in the provision of (primary)
care in the EU, especially in relation to the ageing population, as well as
research on ways to support informal carers and to monitor their health and
wellbeing.
B. Research questions in relation to referral and financing
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
It is difficult to estimate and compare spending on primary care among EU
countries due to the absence of a uniform definition of the services and
providers involved in primary care. While some countries have found ways to
define their primary care services and costs, there is a need for comparative
research to improve our understanding of differences among EU countries.
How are primary care systems responding to the epidemiological shift to
multi-morbidity?
How can primary care contribute to more equity in health?
Identification of which interventions are changing primary care outpatient
referral rates and/or referral appropriateness.
Research to explore further the possible adverse effects of gatekeeper
systems and waiting lists on e.g. cancer survival, care for seriously ill
children.
How can provider payment systems enhance the flexibility of service delivery
systems?
How to monitor the impact of changes in provider payment?
How can P4P programmes contribute to quality, efficiency and equity in
health?
6. Strategic directions: The most important strategic directions that could be taken at
EU level and by individual countries and regions, are to:
•
•
•
stimulate countries to strengthen primary care and make it universally
accessible for a broad range of problems;
adopt a system that integrates optimal "channeling" of patients and patientrelated health information throughout the health system;
strengthen the community orientation of primary care with special emphasis
on intersectoral action for health promotion and prevention, looking at the
upstream causes of ill-health and the social determinants of health;
54
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1676
1677
1678
1679
1680
1681
1682
1683
1684
1685
1686
1687
1688
1689
1690
1691
•
•
•
•
•
stimulate the training of the appropriate workforce for primary care, taking
into account the need for attractive working conditions, appropriate skill mix in
interprofessional teams, and payment incentives that enhance quality of care;
stimulate exchange of best practices, e.g. through supporting organisations
that bring together stakeholders in primary care at European level in order to
create a "European primary care learning community";
further explore and tackle the possible adverse effect of gatekeeper systems
on cancer survival, care for seriously ill children; estimate the effectiveness of
interventions to change primary care outpatient referral rates or improve
outpatient referral appropriateness;
stimulate and support countries to measure and monitor the performance of
their primary care system by means of a comparative set of indicators, to
increase their capacity for continuous quality improvement; and
stimulate the development of integrated partnerships between patients,
providers and informal caregivers in order to better address health challenges
55
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1692
1693
4. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
1694
ADL
Activities of Daily Living
1695
COPC
Community Oriented Primary Care
1696
COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
1697
1698
DG SANCO
Directorate-General
Commission
1699
eHealth
Electronic Health
1700
EU
European Union
1701
Eurostat
Statistical office of the European Union
1702
EXPH
Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health
1703
GDP
Gross Domestic Product
1704
GP
General Practitioner
1705
HTA
Health Technology Assessment
1706
ICT
Information and Communication Technology
1707
IOM
Institute of Medicine
1708
mHealth
Mobile health
1709
NHS
National Health Service (Portugal / United Kingdom)
1710
OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
1711
OOP
Out-Of-Pocket payments
1712
P4P
Pay for Performance
1713
UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
1714
VAT
Value Added Tax
1715
WHO
World Health Organisation
56
Health
&
Consumers
European
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1716
1717
5. REFERENCES
1718
1719
1720
Akbari A, Mayhew A, Al-Alawi MA et al. Interventions to improve outpatient referrals from
primary care to secondary care (review). Cochrane database Syst Rev. 2011.
Available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005471/full
1721
1722
1723
Arah OA, Klazinga NS, Delnoij DM, Ten Asbroek AH, Custers T: Conceptual frameworks
for health systems performance: a quest for effectiveness, quality, and improvement. Int
J Qual Health Care. 2003, 15:377-98.
1724
1725
1726
Arend J, Tsang-Quinn J, Levine C, Thomas D. The Patient-Centred Medical Home:
History, components, and review of the evidence. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine
2012;79:433-450.
1727
1728
1729
Barnett K, Mercer SW, Norbury M et al. Epidemiology of multi-morbidity and implications
for health care, research, and medical education : a cross-sectional study. Lancet
2012;380:37-43.
1730
1731
Barnum H, J Kutzin and H Saxenian. Incentives and provider payment methods,
International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 1995;10(1):23-45.
1732
1733
1734
Bobinac A, van Exel NJA, Rutten FFH, Brouwer WBF. Caring for and caring about:
disentangling the family effect and the caregiving effect. Journal of Health Economics
2010; 29(4):549-556
1735
1736
Bobinac A, van Exel NJA, Rutten FFH, Brouwer WBF. Health effects in significant others:
Separating family and caregiving effects. Medical Decision Making 2011; 31(2): 292-298
1737
1738
1739
1740
Brouwer WBF, van Exel NJA, van de Berg B, Koopmanschap MA, Dinant H, van den Bos
GAM. The burden of caregiving: Evidence on objective burden, subjective burden and
quality of life impacts in informal caregivers for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Arthritis Care & Research 2004; 51(4): 570-577
1741
1742
1743
Brouwer WBF, van Exel NJA, van den Berg B, van den Bos GAM, Koopmanschap MA.
Process utility from providing informal care: The benefit of caring. Health Policy 2005;
74(1): 85-99
1744
1745
1746
1747
Busse R, M Blümel and W Quentin. Can innovations in paying physicians and hospitals
square the circle of conflicting incentives? Experience from four European countries
(England, France, Germany and the Netherlands), New York: The Commonwealth Fund
2010
1748
1749
1750
Cashin C, Y Chi, P Smith, M Borowitz and S Thomson (2014 in press), Paying for
performance in health care: implications for health system performance and
accountability, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
1751
1752
Charlesworth A, A Davies and J Dixon (2012), Reforming payment for health care in
Europe to achieve better value, London: The Nuffield Trust.
1753
1754
1755
Chernew M E and Newhouse JP (2008), What does the RAND Health Insurance Experiment tell us
about the impact of patient cost sharing on health outcomes? Am J Manag Care. 2008
Jul;14(7):412-4.
57
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1756
1757
1758
Christianson, J., Leatherman, S. and Sutherland, K. (2007) Paying for quality:
understanding and assessing physician pay-for-performance initiatives. Princeton, NJ:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
1759
1760
Coulter A (2010) Do patients want choice and does it work? British Medical Journal 341:
973–975.
1761
1762
1763
Croxson B, Propper C, Perkins A. 2001. Do doctors respond to financial incentives? UK
Family Doctors and the GP Fund Holder Scheme. Journal of Public Economics 79:375398.
1764
1765
Damberg, C., Raube, K., Teleki, S. and de la Cruz, E. (2009) Taking stock of pay-forperformance: a candid assessment from the front lines. Health Affairs, 28(2):517-525
1766
1767
De Boer A (ed). View on informal care. The Hague: Social and Cultural Planning Bureau,
2005
1768
1769
1770
De La Maisonneuve, C. and J. Oliveira Martins, 2013, “A projection method for public
health and long-term care expenditures”, Economics Department Working Papers No.
1048, OECD, Paris.
1771
1772
1773
Delnoij D, Van Merode G, Paulus A, Groenewegen P. 2000. Does general practitioner
gatekeeping curb health care expenditure? Journal of Health Services Research and
Policy 5(1):22-26.
1774
1775
De Maeseneer J, van Driel ML, Green LA, van Weel C. The need for research in primary
care. Lancet 2003;362:1314-9.
1776
1777
1778
1779
1780
1781
De Maeseneer J, Willems S, De Sutter A et al. (2007). Primary health care as a strategy
for achieving equitable care: a literature review commissioned by the health systems
knowledge network., Ghent University.
Available at:
http://www.who.int/social_determinants/resources/csdh_media/primary_health_care_20
07_en.pdf
1782
1783
1784
De Maeseneer J, Boeckxstaens P. James MacKenzie Lecture 2011 : multimorbidity, goaloriented care, and equity. Br J Gen Pract. 2012; (62) (600) : e522-4.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22782000
1785
1786
1787
Donaldson MS, Gordy KD, Lohr KM et al. 1996. Primary Care: America's Health in a New
Era. Institute of Medicine, Committee on the Future of Primary Care-Division of Health
Care Services, Washington DC.
1788
1789
Durand-Zaleski I, Bahrami S, et al. France: health system review. Health systems in
transition 2010;12 (6):248-249.
1790
1791
Eijkenaar, F. (2011) Key issues in the design of pay for performance programs. European
Journal of Health Economics, 14(1):117-31
1792
1793
1794
Ellis R P and M M Miller (2009), Provider payment and incentives in Carrin G, K Buse, K
Heggenhougen and S R Quah (eds), Health systems policy, finance, and organization,
Philadelphia: Elsevier.
1795
1796
1797
1798
European Commission (2007) Health and long-term care in the European Union,
Eurobarometer Survey,
http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_283_en.pdf
[accessed 3 March 2014]
58
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1799
1800
Eurostat. Expenditure of providers of health care by financing agents in health care - %
http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do (10-12-2013)
1801
1802
1803
1804
1805
EXPH (Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health), Definition and Endorsement
of Criteria to Identify Priority Areas When Assessing the Performance of Health Systems,
27 Feb 2014
http://ec.europa.eu/health/expert_panel/opinions/docs/002_criteriaperformancehealthsy
stems_en.pdf
1806
1807
Figueras J, R Robinson and E Jakubowski (2005), Effective Purchasing for Health Gain,
Buckingham: Open University Press.
1808
1809
Fleming D N. The European study of referrals from primary to secondary care. PhDthesis, Maastricht University. 1993, Thesis Publishers Amsterdam.
1810
1811
Franks P, Clancy CM, Nutting PA. 1992. Gatekeeping revisited – protecting patients from
overtreatment. New England Journal of Medicine 327:424-429.
1812
1813
1814
1815
Frenk J et al. Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to
strengthen health systems in an interdependent world, The Lancet, 4 December 2010,
Vol. 376, Issue 9756, Pages 1923-1958
doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61854-5
1816
1817
Frolich, A., Talavera, J., Broadhead, P. and Dudley, R. A. (2007) A behavioral model of
clinician responses to incentives to improve quality. Health Policy, 80(1): 179-193
1818
1819
Garrido M V, Zentner A, Busse R (2011) The effects of gatekeeping: A systematic review
of the literature. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 29(1): 28–38.
1820
1821
Gillam S (2008), Is the declaration of Alma-Ata still relevant to primary health care? BMJ
2008;336:536.
1822
1823
Guthrie, B., Auerback, G. and Binman, A. (2010) Competition for Medicaid enrolles based
on performance does not improve quality of care. Health Affairs, 29(8): 1507-1516
1824
1825
1826
Health Council of the Netherlands 2004. European Primary Care. ISBN: 90-5549-549-2.
Available at:
http://www.gezondheidsraad.nl/sites/default/files/European_primary_care_final.pdf
1827
1828
Hernandez-Quevedo C, Llano R, Mossialos E. Paying for integrated care: an overview.
Eurohealth 2013; 19 (2): 3-6
1829
1830
1831
Kidd M (ed) (2013) The Contribution of Family Medicine to Improving Health Systems: a
guidebook from the World Organisation of Family Doctors. London, Radcliffe Publishing.
ISBN-13: 9781846195549
1832
1833
1834
Kraijo H, Brouwer WBF, de Leeuw R, Schrijvers G, van Exel NJA. The perseverance time
of informal carers: introduction and validation of a new measure of burden in caregivers
for dementia patients. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, in press
1835
1836
1837
1838
Kringos DS, Boerma WGW, Van der Zee J, Groenewegen PP. (2013a) Europe’s Strong
Primary Care Systems Are Linked To Better Population Health, But Also To Higher Health
Spending. Health Affairs April 2013 vol. 32 no. 4, pp. 686-694.
doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1242
1839
1840
1841
Kringos D.S., Boerma W.G.W., Bourgueil Y., Cartier T., Dedeu T., Hasvold T., Hutchinson
A., Lember M., Oleszczyk M., Rotar Pavlic D., Svab I., Tedeschi P., Wilm S., Wilson S.,
Windak A., Van der Zee J., Groenewegen P.P. (2013b) The strength of primary care in
59
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1842
1843
Europe: an international comparative study. British Journal of General Practice 2013;
63(616): e742-e750(9).
1844
1845
1846
Kringos, D.S, Boerma, W.G., van der Zee, J., Groenewegen, P.P, (2013c) Political,
cultural and economic foundations of primary care in Europe. Social Science & Medicine
99 2013: 9-17.
1847
1848
Kronenberg C and P Pita Barros (2014), Catastrophic healthcare expenditure – drivers
and protection: the Portuguese case, Health Policy 115: 44-51.
1849
1850
1851
Kroneman M, Meeuws P, Kringos DS, Groot W, Van der Zee J. International
developments in revenues and incomes of general practitioners from 2000 to 2010. BMC
Health Services Research 2013; 13:436.
1852
1853
Lamata F, Rubio S, Checa I (1990) Incentivos económicos; complemento
productividad variable en el Insalud de Madrid. Rol de enfermería 1990; 141: 15-20.
1854
1855
Langenbrunner J C, C Cashin and S O’Dougherty (2009), Designing and implementing
health care provider payment systems, Washington DC: The World Bank
1856
1857
Lewin K. Forces behind food habits and methods of change. Bulletin of the National
Research Council 108:35-65.
1858
1859
1860
Macinko J, Starfield B, Shi L. The contribution of primary care systems to health
outcomes within Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
countries, 1970–1998. Health Serv Res. 2003;38(3):831–65.
1861
1862
1863
Martin D, Marinker M, Pereira Gray D. 1989. Effect of a gatekeeper plan on health
services use and charges: a randomized trial. American Journal of Public Health 79:16281632
1864
McCartney M. The Patient Paradox. London: Pinter & Martin, 2012
1865
1866
McKee M, Karanikolos M, Belcher P, Stuckler D. Austerity: a failed experiment on the
people of Europe. Clin Med 2012;12:346-50.
1867
Medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing, Farlex 2012.
1868
1869
Miller H D (2007), Creating payment systems to accelerate value-driven health care:
issues and options for policy reform, New York: The Commonwealth Fund.
1870
Moynihan R. The making of a disease: female sexual dysfunction. BMJ 2003;326:45-7.
1871
1872
Murray C, Frenk J. World Health Report 2000: a step towards evidence-based health
policy. Lancet, 2001, 357:1698-1700.
1873
1874
1875
NHS Wales Informatics Service. Electronic Referrals: Electronic Clinical Communications
for Wales.
Available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/nwis/page/52545
1876
1877
1878
Nolte E, McKee M. Integration and chronic care: review. In: Nolte E, McKee, editors.
Caring for people with chronic conditions. A health system perspective. Maidenhead:
Open University Press; 2008. pp. 64-91.
1879
1880
OECD Health Working Paper No. 58: Income-Related Inequalities in Health Service
Utilisation in 19 OECD Countries, 2008-2009 (Devaux and de Looper, July 2012).
1881
OECD (2012), Health at a glance 2012. OECD Publishing
60
de
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1882
1883
OECD (2013). Health at a Glance 2013: OECD indicators, OECD Publishing.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2013-en
1884
1885
1886
Reeves A, McKee M, Basu S, Stuckler D. The political economy of austerity and health
care: Cross-national analysis of expenditure changes in 27 European nations 1995-2011.
Health-Policy (2013). Article in Press.
1887
1888
Reibling N, Wendt C (2012) Gatekeeping and provider choice in OECD healthcare
systems. Current Sociology 60(4): 489-505.
1889
1890
1891
Rhyne R, Bogue R, Kukulka G, Fulmer H, editors. Community-oriented primary care:
health care for the 21st century. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association,
1998.
1892
1893
Riedel M, Kraus M. Informal Care Provision in Europe: Regulation and profile of providers,
ENEPRI Research Report No. 96., 2011.
1894
1895
1896
RIVM (2012). Effects of bundled payment on curative health care costs in the
Netherlands : An analysis for diabetes care and vascular risk management based on
nationwide claim data, 2007-2010. Bilthoven: RIVM.
1897
1898
Robinson J (2001), Theory and practice in the design of physician payment incentives,
Milbank Quarterly 79(2): 149-177.
1899
1900
1901
Royal College of Nursing (2013), Moving care to the community: an international
perspective, RCN Policy and International Department Policy briefing, London: The Royal
College of Nursing.
1902
1903
1904
Saltman RB, Rico A, Boerma W. Primary care in the driver’s seat? Organisational reform
in European Primary Care. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series.
2006, Open University Press, England (ISBN 978-0-335-21366-5).
1905
1906
Schneider J et al. Carers and Community mental health services. Social Psychiatry &
Psychiatric Epidemiology 2001; 36(12): 604-7.
1907
1908
Schulz R, Beach SR. Caregiving as a risk factor for mortality: the caregiver health effects
study. JAMA 1999; 282 (23): 2215-2219
1909
1910
1911
Scottish Executive Health Department Directorate of Delivery. 2007. Patient pathway
management:
referral
facilitation.
ISBN:
978-0-7559-5350-9.
Available at: http://www.Scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/170740/0047851.pdf
1912
1913
Schwenkglenks M,Preiswerk G, Lehner R, Weber F, Szucz TD. 2006. J Epidemiol
Community Health 62:24-30. doi: 10.1136/jech.2005.038240
1914
1915
1916
Shi L, Macinko J, Starfield B, Politzer R, Wulu J, Xu J. Primary care, social inequalities,
and allcause, heart disease, and cancer mortality in US counties, 1990. Am J Public
Health. 2005;95(4):674–80.
1917
1918
Social and Cultural Planning Office. Social and Cultural Report 2000. The Hague: Social
and Cultural Planning Office; 2000.
1919
Starfield B. Is primary care essential? Lancet 1994; 344: 1129–1133.
1920
1921
Starfield B. Primary Care: Balancing Health Needs, Services, and Technology. Oxford
University Press, 1998.
61
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1922
1923
Tarimo E. 1997. Essential Health Service Packages: Uses, Abuse and Future Directions.
ARA Paper n°15, WHO, Geneva.
1924
1925
1926
Thomson S, Foubister T, Figueras J, Kutzin J, Permanand G, Bryndová L. Adressing
financial sustainability in health systems. Policy Summary I. European Observatory on
Health Systems and Policies, 2009.
1927
1928
1929
Thomson S, Chernew M and Schang L (2013), Value-Based Cost Sharing In The United
States And Elsewhere Can Increase Patients’ Use Of High-Value Goods And Services,
Health Affairs 32(4).
1930
1931
1932
Thomson S, Figueras J, Evetovits T, Jowett M, Mladovsky P, Maresso A (2014 in press),
Health systems, health and economic crisis in Europe, Buckingham: Open University
Press.
1933
1934
1935
Valentijn PP et al. Understanding integrated care: a comprehensive conceptual
framework based on the integrative functions of primary care. Int J Integr Care. 2013
Mar 22; 13e010. Print 2013 Jan.
1936
1937
Van de Ven, W.P.M.M., Schut F.T. (2009), Managed competition in the Netherlands: still
work-in-progress, Health Economics 18: 253-255.
1938
1939
1940
Van Herck, P., De Smedt, D., Annemans,L., Remmen, R., Rosenthal, M. and Sermeus, W.
(2010) Systematic review: effects, design choices, and context of pay-for-performance in
health care. BMC Health Services Research, 10: 247-260.
1941
1942
Van Houtven CH, Norton EC. Informal care and health care use of older adults. J Health
Econ 2004; 23 (6): 1159-80
1943
1944
1945
Van Til, T. de Wildt, J.E., Struijs. (2010). De organisatie van zorggroepen anno 2010.
Huidige stand van zaken en de ontwikkelingen in de afgelopen jaren (in Dutch).
Bilthoven: RIVM.
1946
1947
1948
Vedsted P, Olesen F. Are the serious problems in cancer survival partly rooted in
gatekeeper principles? An ecologic study. Br J Gen Pract. 2011 Aug;61(589):e508-12.
doi: 10.3399/bjgp11X588484
1949
1950
Võrk A, J Saluse and J Habicht (2009), Income-related inequality in health care financing
and utilization in Estonia 2000–2007, Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
1951
1952
Vrijens F et al. The Belgian Health System Performance Report 2012: Snapshot of results
and recommendations to policy makers. Health Policy 112 (2013) 133-140
1953
1954
Vuori H. Health for all, primary health care and general practitioners (1986). Journal of
The Royal College of General Practitioners 36;398-402.
1955
1956
Wagstaff A and E van Doorslaer et al (1999), Equity in the finance of health care: some
further international comparisons, J Health Econ 18(3):263-90.
1957
1958
1959
1960
Weisbrot M, Baker D, Kraev E, Chen J. The scorecard on globalization 1980-2000: its
consequences for economic and social Well-being. In: Navarro V, Muntaner C. Political
and economic determinants of population Health and Well-being: controversies on
developments. New York, Baywood Publishing Company, 2004, pp.91-114.
62
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1961
1962
1963
WHO 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata. International Conference on Primary Health Care,
Alma-Ata, USSR, 6-12 September 1978.
Available at: http://www.who.int/publications/almaata_declaration_en.pdf
1964
1965
1966
WHO (2000), The world health report 2000: Health systems: improving performance.
Geneva, World Health Organisation, 2000
http://www.who.int/whr/2000/en/whr00_en.pdf [accessed 5 December 2013]
1967
1968
1969
WHO (2006). Referral systems – a summary of key processes to guide health services
managers
Available at: http://www.who.int/management/referralnotes.doc?ua=1
1970
1971
WHO (2008), The Tallinn Charter: health systems for health and wealth, Copenhagen:
WHO Regional Office for Europe.
1972
1973
1974
WHO (2008), World Health Report 2008: Primary health care: now more than ever!
Geneva, World Health Organisation, 2008.
http://www.who.int/whr/2008/en/index.html
1975
1976
1977
WHO (2010), The world health report 2010: Health systems financing: the path to
universal coverage. World Health Organisation, 2010
http://www.who.int/whr/2010/en/index.html [accessed 5 December 2013]
1978
1979
WHO Health systems glossary
http://www.who.int/healthsystems/hss_glossary/en/
1980
1981
WONCA Dictionary of General/Family Practice. Bentzen N. (ed), Wonca International
Classification Committee: Copenhagen, 2003.
1982
1983
World Bank. Investing in health, World development report 1993. The World Bank,
Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 34.
1984
1985
Xu K, Evans D B, Carrin G, Aguilar-Rivera A, Musgrove P and Evans T (2007), Protecting
Households From Catastrophic Health Spending, Health Affairs, 26(4): 972-983.
1986
1987
1988
1989
Zielinski A, Håkansson A, Jurgutis A et al. 2008. Differences in referral rates to
specialized health care from 4 primary health care models in Klaipeda, Lithuania. BMC
family practice 2008;9:63.
doi:101186/1471-2296-9-63
1990
1991
1992
63
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
1993
1994
6. GLOSSARY
1995
Accessibility (of health services)
1996
1997
1998
Aspects of the structure of health services or health facilities that enhance the ability
of people to reach a health care practitioner, in terms of location, time, and ease of
approach (WHO Health systems glossary)
1999
2000
Accountability
2001
2002
2003
The result of the process which ensures that health actors take responsibility of what
they are obliged to do and are made answerable for their actions. (WHO Health
systems glossary)
2004
2005
Community
2006
2007
2008
2009
A unit of population, often generally geographically defined, that is the locus of basic
political and social responsibility and in which everyday social interactions involving
all or most of the spectrum of life activities of the people within it takes place. (WHO
Health systems glossary)
2010
Community medicine
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Specialty of medicine concerned with the health of specific populations or groups;
focuses on health of the community as a whole rather than individuals; includes
epidemiology, screening, and environmental health and is concerned with
promotion of health, prevention of disease and disability, and rehabilitation,
through collective social actions, often provided by state or local health
authorities. (Kidd)
2017
2018
Comprehensiveness (of care)
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023
The extent to which the spectrum of care and range of resources made available
responds to the full range of health problems in a given community. Comprehensive
care encompasses health promotion and prevention interventions as well as diagnosis
and treatment or referral and palliation. It includes chronic or long-term home care,
and, in some models, social services. (WHO Health systems glossary / Kidd)
2024
2025
2026
64
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
2027
Continuity (of care)
2028
A term used to indicate one or more of the following attributes of care:
2029
2030
2031
2032
2033
2034
2035
2036
(i) the provision of services that are coordinated across levels of care – primary care
and referral facilities, across settings and providers;
(ii) the provision of care throughout the life cycle;
(iii) care that continues uninterrupted until the resolution of an episode of disease or
risk;
(iv) the degree to which a series of discrete health care events are experienced by
people as coherent and interconnected over time, and are consistent with their health
needs and preferences (WHO Health systems glossary /Kidd)
2037
2038
Coordination
2039
2040
2041
2042
2043
2044
2045
Coordinated care is an organisation of health care based on the principle that, by
strengthening administrative arrangements between organisations in joined cooperation, components in the health care system work together to create a
continuum of health care to a defined population. It includes health promotion,
preventive, curative and rehabilitative interventions and also refers to the extent to
reach activities or co-ordinated across units to maximize the value of service delivery
to patients. (Wonca Dictionary of General/Family Practice; Niels Bentzen – 2003).
2046
2047
Health needs
2048
2049
2050
2051
2052
2053
2054
2055
2056
2057
2058
2059
2060
Objectively determined deficiencies in health that require health care, from promotion
to palliation. Perceived health needs: the need for health services as experienced by
the individual and which he/she is prepared to acknowledge; perceived need may or
may not coincide with professionally defined or scientifically confirmed need.
Professionally defined health needs: the need for health services as recognized by
health professionals from the point of view of the benefit obtainable from advice,
preventive measures, management or specific therapy; Professionally defined need
may or may not coincide with perceived or scientifically confirmed need. Scientifically
confirmed health needs: the need confirmed by objective measures of biological,
anthropometric or psychological factors, expert opinion or the passage of time; it is
generally considered to correspond to those conditions that can be classified in
accordance with the International Classification of Diseases. (WHO Health systems
glossary)
2061
2062
Informal caregivers
2063
2064
Family members, neighbours, friends or volunteers, involved as non-professionals, in
care delivery. (Wonca Dictionary of General/Family Practice; Niels Bentzen – 2003).
2065
2066
65
Definition Primary Care – Preliminary opinion
2067
Person-centeredness
2068
People-centered care
2069
2070
2071
2072
2073
2074
2075
2076
Care that is focused and organized around the health needs and expectations of
people and communities rather than on diseases. People-centered care extends
the concept of patient-centered care to individuals, families, communities, and
society. Whereas patient-centered care is commonly understood as focusing on
the individual seeking care – the patient – people-centered care encompasses
these clinical encounters and also includes attention to the health of people in
their communities and their crucial role in shaping health policy and health
services. (WHO Health systems glossary / Kidd)
2077
2078
2079
2080
2081
Subsidiarity
Subsidiarity means that a central, specialised service should have a subsidiary
function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a
less specialized or local level (adapted from Oxford English Dictionary)
2082
2083
Team
2084
2085
2086
2087
The Primary Care Team, is leaded usually by a family doctor, and it includes
several primary care professionals, depending on the circumstances (various GPs,
nurses, paediatricians, nursing assistants, physiotherapists, midwives, social
workers, etc.).
2088
2089
The primary care team can work in a health centre, but can also do it with
professionals in different locations through networks of primary care.
2090
2091
2092
2093
In the costs of primary care could be considered included (in order to assess the
expenditure at this level): the requested diagnostic tests (radiological imaging,
laboratory tests) and medication initially prescribed by the primary care physician.
(proposed by F. Lamata)
2094
2095
Universality
2096
Universal (health) coverage
2097
2098
Universal access to health services with social health protection. (WHO Health
systems glossary)
2099
2100
2101
2102
Ensuring that all people can use the promotive, preventive, curative, and
rehabilitative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while
also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial
hardship. (Kidd)
2103
2104
2105
66
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertising