ACCESS Health International Partners With the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust, Government of Karnataka, to Conduct Workshop on Costing of Health Services for Provider Payments; The Bangalore Times
Workshop Raised Awareness Among Health Reform Leaders in Ten Countries about the Benefits and Opportunities Associated With Costing of Healthcare Services
Bengaluru, INDIA. The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage held the first ever train the trainer workshop on costing of health services for provider payments. The five day workshop taught participants how to design a costing study and how to train other practitioners to use costing study techniques. The workshop attracted participants from ten Joint Learning Network countries, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ghana, Malaysia, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Moldova. The workshop was organized by ACCESS Health International and the Suvarna Arogya Suraskha Trust, Government of Karnataka, on behalf of the Provider Payment Mechanism Costing Collaborative of the Joint Learning Network. The Suvarna Arogya Suraskha Trust is one of the Joint Learning Network representatives in India.
To achieve and sustain universal health coverage, governments must generate resources to expand the health coverage base, distribute resources equitably, use resources efficiently to achieve maximum benefit in terms of meeting healthcare needs, ensure quality of care, and protect users from financial hardship due to out of pocket expenses. Setting provider payment rates is a balancing act for the health purchaser. The purchaser has three primary goals:
To keep total payments to providers within available resources
To pay providers enough to keep them satisfied and providing good quality services
To create incentives that lead providers to improve efficiency, quality, and responsiveness to patients
“This workshop was a great learning experience. I was amazed that the costing experts helped us understand the right methodology and customize costing to the context of each country,” said Navneet Jain, Cost Accountant and Managing Partner, Navneet and Company, India.
Public investment in healthcare is slightly more than one percent of GDP, which is on the lower side when compared to the GDP of peer countries. Private health insurance covers about five percent of the total population. An additional twelve percent have some coverage under government sponsored health insurance programs. Effective financing mechanisms are a critical requirement for improving access to healthcare. Among other priorities to advance universal health coverage, such as sound budget allocation and sustainable policy solutions, a shared understanding of how to gather, analyze, and update health services costing information for provider payments is essential to enable a healthcare model that delivers access for all.
Sireesha Perabathina, Associate Director, ACCESS Health Joint Learning Network, said,“Costing of health services is one of the important technical priorities for many countries advancing toward universal health coverage. This train the trainer workshop is a pioneering step toward adopting a scientific approach to costing studies across countries, including India.”
By the end of the workshop, participants were able to design a costing study and were ready to train others in their home countries. The workshop curriculum was designed for those affiliated with government sponsored health insurance programs; practitioners involved in costing research, data management, health planning. Also included were cost accountants and senior managers of service provider organizations and health insurance funds; finance ministry; and private sector hospital officials who are associated with government institutions.
About the Joint Learning Network Costing Collaborative
In January 2012, the Joint Learning Network (JLN) Provider Payment Mechanisms Technical Initiative introduced its first topic specific activity for joint learning and exchange. TheCollaborative on Costing of Health Services for Provider Payment provides an ongoing forum for technical level professionals to share experiences and solve common problems related to the costing of healthcare services. The Joint Learning Network Costing Collaborative created a core working group of country and international costing experts. The Costing Collaborative core working group synthesized the rich experience of Joint Learning Network member countries. The group jointly developed a costing manual that documents the main costing methodologies, shares examples of tools and templates, and uses case examples to illustrate their application in different country contexts.
About ACCESS Health International
Six years ago, ACCESS Health International began work in India to identify good practices in high quality and low cost healthcare. ACCESS Health has expanded its work in India to support the expansion of good practices through close collaboration with governments and the private sector. Today, ACCESS Health India focuses on advancing healthcare finance systems and understanding how these systems can improve the quality of healthcare services. The best healthcare finance and delivery systems in India can serve as models, both within the country and abroad. ACCESS Health India designs and manages programs and projects that drive and inspire improvements in healthcare in other countries.
ACCESS Health International, Inc. is a nonprofit think tank and advisory group with a mission to improve access to high quality, affordable healthcare for people everywhere. ACCESS Health partners across sectors in low, middle, and high income countries to drive innovation in healthcare finance, delivery systems, quality and process improvement, training, and business engagement.