Background: Equity, financial sustainability, and quality in healthcare are key goals embraced by universal health systems. However, systematic performance management strategies for achieving equity are still weaker than those aimed at achieving financial sustainability and quality of care. Using a vertical equity perspective, the overarching aim of this paper is to examine how improving equity in quality of care impacts on financial sustainability. We applied a simulation to indicators of the heart failure clinical pathway in Tuscany (central Italy), in order to quantify the equity gaps and financial resources that could be reallocated in the absence of performance inequities. Methods: The analysis included all patients hospitalized for heart failure as a principal diagnosis in 2014. We selected five indicators: hospitalization rate, 30-day readmission, cardiology visits, and the utilization of beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors and sartans. For each indicator, the simulation followed three steps: 1) stratification by socioeconomic status (SES), using education as a proxy for SES; 2) computation of the vertical equity indicator; and 3) assessment of the financial value of the equity gap. Results: All indicators showed performance gaps regarding inequities across SES-groups. For the hospitalization rate and 30-day readmission, resources could have been reallocated, if the performance of patients with a low SES had been equal to the performance of patients with a high SES, which amounted to €2,144,422 and €892,790 respectively. In contrast, limited additional resources would have been required for prescriptions and cardiology visits. Conclusions: Reducing equity gaps by improving the performance of low-SES patients may be a crucial strategy to achieving financial sustainability in universal coverage healthcare systems. Universal healthcare systems, which aim to pursue financial sustainability and quality of care, are thus urged to develop performance management actions to improve equity. This approach should not only include the measurement and public disclosure of equity indicators but be part of a comprehensive evidence-based strategy for the management of chronic conditions along the clinical pathway.
|Titolo:||A turnaround strategy: improving equity in order to achieve quality of care and financial sustainability in Italy|
CAFAGNA, GIANLUCA (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|