School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

[image]Health Policy Conference

November 20, 2018

Room 202, Robert Sutherland Hall, Queen's University
138 Union Street, Kingston, ON



The "Incentives for Health" dialogue is of interest to students, academics, and those involved in health-care fields in southern Ontario,  supplemented by policy makers and others from related areas.

The theme, plays on the fact that incentives in the current system reward health-care providers for services that patients require to diagnose and treat their ill health. Few incentives are in place to reward providers to maintain people’s good health and prevent them from becoming patients. Similarly, few incentives exist to promote teamwork among providers or improvements in the efficiency or effectiveness of providers’ practices.

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The tax and personal revenues that are channeled to healthcare services are significant and continue to grow. This is increasingly at the risk of less funding being available for the social determinants of health, which influence the health of populations. These include education, personal and financial security, employment and working conditions, healthy child development, gender and culture.

This imbalance exists despite incontrovertible evidence that 75 per cent of population health is attributable to those social determinants.

Health maintenance organizations operate on the fundamental principle that keeping people healthy is in their best interest. Accountable care organizations are similar and are increasing in number in the United States, Britain and elsewhere. In Ontario, community health centres and the provincial government’s Health Links, operate, at least in part, on much the same holistic principle. Is there sufficient evidence from these models to inform policy-makers on how to improve population health for the money spent?

This dialogue proposes to test how changes in the incentives available to providers and their organizations could affect the healthcare productivity; measured not in the usual terms of wait times, effectiveness, and other measures, but rather in terms of people’s health.