Reducing avoidable inequalities in health: a new criterion for setting health care capitation payments
Traditionally, most health care systems which pretend to any sort of rationality and cost control have sought to allocate their limited funds in order to secure equal opportunity of access for equal need. The UK government is implementing a fundamental change of resource allocation philosophy towards 'contributing to the reduction of avoidable health inequalities'. The purpose of this essay is to explore some of the economic issues that arise when seeking to allocate health care resources according to the new criterion. It indicates that health inequalities might arise because of variations in the quality of health services, variations in access to those services, or variations in the way people produce health, and that the resource allocation consequences differ depending on which source is being addressed. The paper shows that an objective of reducing health inequalities is not necessarily compatible with an objective of equity of access, nor with the objective of maximising health gain. The results have profound consequences for approaches towards economic evaluation, the role of clinical guidelines and performance management, as well as for resource allocation methods. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Peter C. Smith & Nigel Rice & Roy Carr-Hill, 2001. "Capitation funding in the public sector," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 217-257.
- Maria Goddard & Peter Smith, 1998. "Equity of access to health care," Working Papers 032cheop, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
- Wagstaff, Adam, 1991. "QALYs and the equity-efficiency trade-off," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-41, May.
- Joao Pereira, 1989. "What does equity in health mean?," Working Papers 061chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
- Amir Shmueli & Jacob Glazer, 1999. "Addressing the inequity of capitation by variable soft contracts," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 335-343.
- Royston, G. H. D. & Hurst, J. W. & Lister, E. G. & Stewart, P. A., 1992. "Modelling the use of health services by populations of small areas to inform the allocation of central resources to larger regions," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 169-180, July.
- David K. Whynes & Tara Heron & Anthony J. Avery, 1997. "Prescribing Cost Savings by GP Fundholders: Long-Term or Short-Term?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 209-211.
- Matthew Sutton & Peter Lock, 2000. "Regional differences in health care delivery: implications for a national resource allocation formula," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(6), pages 547-559.
- Fredrik Andersson & Carl Hampus Lyttkens, 1999. "Preferences for equity in health behind a veil of ignorance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 369-378.
- Croxson, B. & Propper, C. & Perkins, A., 2001. "Do doctors respond to financial incentives? UK family doctors and the GP fundholder scheme," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 375-398, February.
- Williams, Alan & Cookson, Richard, 2000. "Equity in health," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 35, pages 1863-1910 Elsevier.
- Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1993. "Equity and equality in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 431-457, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:11:y:2002:i:8:p:667-677. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.