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


This conference is primarily for students, academics, and other interested attendees from southeastern Ontario, supplemented by policy makers and others from related areas. It has a target audience in the range of 120-130.

The theme, “Incentives for Health,” plays on the fact that the primary incentives in the current system reward providers for health-care services required by patients to diagnose and treat their ill health. Few incentives are in place to reward providers to maintain people’s health and preventing 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 large and growing allocation of tax and personal revenues that are channeled to healthcare services is increasingly at the risk of less funding being available for the social determinants of health, education, personal and financial security, supportive communities, etc. This imbalance exists despite incontrovertible evidence that 75 per cent of population health is attributable to those social determinants.

Health maintenance organizations have existed for many years, operating 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, more recently, Health Links, operate, at least in part, on much the same 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.