Provider-payment assessment tool in development

WHO, along with the World Bank and the Joint Learning Network for Universal Coverage (JLN), is developing a diagnostic and assessment guide to support countries making reforms to mechanisms for paying health-service providers.

This initiative is part the global effort to achieve universal coverage, which was the theme of the 2010 world health report.

Health-systems financing is one of the key factors determining access to health services, the costs to patients and the quality and efficiency of service delivery. Many countries in the WHO European Region and globally seek ways to make health services available to all, as a key component of health-system reform.

Assessing and reforming provider-payment mechanisms can improve efficiency and quality in service delivery, which means increased value for money. In turn, efficiency gains can be used to extend population coverage or add new services to the benefit package. Improving efficiency helps health ministers make a stronger case for investing more in health.

Assessment tool

The new tool will enable the assessment of provider-payment mechanisms in the wider context of health-system performance, and focus on avoiding unintended consequences from making reforms. Its development will take a year, and include field tests in selected countries.

The project to develop the tool is a JLN initiative, guided by a group of experts. Partners in the project include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the governments of Germany and the United Kingdom, the World Bank and the Results for Development Institute. The work of the expert group on provider payment is led by co-chairs from the World Bank, JLN and WHO.

WHO/Europe hosted the first meeting of the expert group on 27–28 February 2012.