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European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1514811


COVID-19 has affected health providers economically in two main ways. First, some providers lost income due to postponed services or patients refraining from seeking care. Second, other providers took on new tasks by treating (high volumes of) COVID-19 patients. All providers faced higher costs due to new hygiene and distance requirements. We reviewed if and how countries have adjusted payments to health providers during 2020 using an analytical framework and data from 20 countries. The analysis is based on information collected in the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) and complemented by grey literature by country representatives who are experts on health policy and have reported the developments and responses to the pandemic since is very onset. We found that payments were not adjusted for many providers whose income did not depend on activity such as salaries, capitations and budgets. Most of the compensatory payments were in the form of new salaries and budgets that substituted activity-based payments, and some higher fees to compensate for activity shortfalls. New FFS payments were created to incentivize virtual services. Payments for COVID-19 related costs included mainly new fees for services. Hospitals also received new budgets to cover the costs of adjusting wards, creating new (ICU) beds, and hiring more workforce. Some countries also created new per diem and DRG tariffs to pay for COVID-19 patients. Consumables such as personal protective equipment and hygiene material were provided in-kind or reimbursed in-cash. Overall, governments bore many COVID-19 financial risks. Payment adjustments should be carefully designed in order to protect providers from income shortfalls without undermining productivity, access or quality of care. Payments for COVID-19 services should promote provision without leading to overtreatment or overspending.

Eurohealth ; 26(2):83-87, 2020.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-942063


COVID-19 has affected the incomes of some health professionals by reducing demand for care and increasing expenditures for treatment preparedness. In a survey of 14 European countries, we found that most countries have incentivised substitutive e-health services to avoid loss of income. Health professionals have also received financial compensation for loss of income either through initiatives specifically designed for the health sector or general self-employment schemes, and have either been reimbursed for extra COVID-19-related expenditures such as personal protective equipment (PPE) or had these provided in kind. Compensation is generally funded from health budgets, complemented by emergency funding from government revenue.

Eurohealth ; 26(2):5-9, 2020.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-941967


COVID-19 has posed huge challenges for Europe's health systems but also for European solidarity. The WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Commission have worked to maintain an international perspective and, as part of their efforts, called on the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Its response was the HSRM platform. HSRM helps countries systematically capture how they are tackling COVID. It allows policy makers to see immediately how others are 'governing' transmission, resources and service delivery. They can identify common issues and share practice. HSRM has also provided the raw material for cross-cutting analysis of key policy questions. This combination of information and analysis has generated learning. What's more, it has helped assert the importance of countries coming together in the face of an international health emergency.

Eurohealth ; 26(2):25-28, 2020.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-941863


While the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic was focused on preventing and mitigating a public health crisis, it has rapidly spiraled in many countries into a full blown economic and public finance crisis. We describe this evolution and consider how health financing, as well as population health, are likely to be affected by the economic crisis. We find that countries have applied a variety of measures which include making extra financial allocations available to the health sector, supporting workers experiencing job loss, and compensating health professionals for lost income and extra expenses.