Testing Cost Containment of Future Health Care with Maintained or Improved Quality – The COST CARES project Running title: Cost Containment of Future Health Care
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BACKGROUND: Increasing healthcare costs need to be contained in order to maintain equality of access to care for all EU citizens. A cross-disciplinary consortium of experts was supported by the EU FP7 research programme, to produce a roadmap on cost containment, while maintaining or improving the quality of healthcare. The roadmap comprises two drivers: person-centred care and health promotion; five critical enablers also need to be addressed: information technology, quality measures, infrastructure, incentive systems, and contracting strategies. METHOD: In order to develop and test the roadmap, a COST Action project was initiated: COST-CARES, with 28 participating countries. This paper provides an overview of evidence about the effects of each of the identified enablers. Intersections between the drivers and the enablers are identified as critical for the success of future cost containment, in tandem with maintained or improved quality in healthcare. This will require further exploration through testing. CONCLUSION: Cost containment of future healthcare, with maintained or improved quality, needs to be addressed through a concerted approach of testing key factors. We propose a framework for test lab design based on these drivers and enablers in different European countries.
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