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Report calls for healthcare spending transparency

An IBM report warns that global healthcare systems will be unsustainable by 2015, unless governments adopt new accountability standards on how the money is spent

A report has warned that global healthcare systems will be unsustainable by 2015, unless governments adopt new accountability standards on how the money is being spent.

IBM Global Business Service's 'Healthcare 2015: Win-win or lose-lose' report adds that the situation could be avoided, if healthcare systems quickly address the new market "driven by the dictates of globalisation, consumerism, demographic shifts, the increased burden of disease, and expensive new technologies and treatments".

The report argues that accountability can be achieved providing governments take a more holistic view of value and look not only at the episodic costs of procedures but also at how investments in high quality preventive care and proactive health status management can improve quality and help minimise the long-term cost structure of care.

The authors also stressed the need for governments to provide incentives for preventive care and for citizens to take responsibility for their own health by changing lifestyles, for example by quitting smoking or taking more physical exercise.

The report then gives detailed recommendations for each healthcare stakeholder to follow, including increasing consumer accountability. Regarding healthcare delivery, the authors consider that it is currently "overly focused on episodic acute care and must shift in the nature, mode, and means to include prevention and chronic condition management".

Earlier in 2007, a report on Financing Sustainable Health Care in Europe was published by the Luxembourg Ministry for Health, the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) and US pharmaceutical company Pfizer on 13 February 2007. The report advised member states and the EU how to boost healthcare productivity and efficiency, underscoring the need for increased transparency and openness in financing healthcare in the region.

30th September 2008

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