Medical research worries some of the experts who will be helping 20 developed nations care for aging populations.
Health industry consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., New York, report on that concern in a health finance system analysis based on a Web-based survey of 200 health executives in the 20 countries.
Most participants agreed that the aging of the population is the most pressing concern facing their own countries’ health care finance systems, and about 60% of the participating executives identified “implementation of technology” as a likely “attribute for improving efficiency” in health care, the consultants write.
But Jorg Blattmann, a German hospital executive, told the PricewaterhouseCoopers consultants that one increasingly popular payment method – “diagnosis related group” reimbursement, or paying for the bundle of products and services typically needed to treat a patient suffering from a particular diagnosis – can hold back the spread of new ideas.
“DRG-based reimbursement as it is used in Germany today is not supporting any further innovation within the medical field because really innovative procedures are not reimbursed through DRGs,” the executive told the PricewaterhouseCoopers consultants.
In the Netherlands, Hans Hopmans, “innovation manager” at a Dutch health insurer, said, “The role of technology doesn’t make me happy. … If you think about the technology regarding early detection of illness, then 95% of the population will be sick in 10 to 15 years.”