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Policies towards hospital and GP competition in five European countries.

Policies towards hospital and GP competition in five European countries.
Author Information (click to view)

Siciliani L, Chalkley M, Gravelle H,


Siciliani L, Chalkley M, Gravelle H, (click to view)

Siciliani L, Chalkley M, Gravelle H,

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Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2016 11 22121(2) 103-110 pii S0168-8510(16)30319-0
Abstract

This study provides an overview of policies affecting competition amongst hospitals and GPs in five European countries: France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Drawing on the policies and empirical evidence described in five case studies, we find both similarities and differences in the approaches adopted. Constraints on patients’ choices of provider have been relaxed but countries differ in the amount and type of information that is provided in the public domain. Hospitals are increasingly paid via fixed prices per patient to encourage them to compete on quality but prices are set in different ways across countries. They can be collectively negotiated, determined by the political process, negotiated between insurers and providers or centrally determined by provider costs. Competition amongst GPs varies across countries and is limited in some cases by shortages of providers or restrictions on entry. There are varied and innovative examples of selective contracting for patients with chronic conditions aimed at reducing fragmentation of care. Competition authorities do generally have jurisdiction over mergers of private hospitals but assessing the potential impact of mergers on quality remains a key challenge. Overall, this study highlights a rich diversity of approaches towards competition policy in healthcare.

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