What is the evidence on the economic impacts of integrated care?

This new policy summary reviews the existing evidence on the economic impact of integrated care approaches. Whereas it is generally accepted that integrated care models have a positive effect on the quality of care, health outcomes and patient satisfaction, it is less clear how cost effective they are. As the evidence-base in this field is rather weak, the authors suggest that we may have to revisit our understanding of the concept and our expectations in terms of its assessment.

Integrated care should rather be seen as a complex strategy to innovate and implement long-lasting change in the way services in the health and social-care sectors are delivered.

This policy summary (number 11) is based on a report for the European Commission to inform the discussions of the EU’s Reflection process on modern, responsive and sustainable health systems on the objective of integrated care models and better hospital management. Both authors are affiliated to RAND Europe.