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Implementation of provider payment system reforms in the age of universal health coverage: a realist review of evidence from Asian developing countries

Tan, Si Ying, Melendez-Torres, Gerardo and Pang, Tikki 2019. Implementation of provider payment system reforms in the age of universal health coverage: a realist review of evidence from Asian developing countries. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 24 (4) , pp. 279-287. 10.1177/1355819619842305

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Abstract

Objective Launched to assist in achieving universal health coverage, provider payment reform (PPR) is one of the most important policy tools deployed to transform incentives within a health system that is plagued with allocative inefficiency and high out-of-pocket payments to one that is able to deliver basic services and be cost-efficient. However, the black box of such reform – that is, the contexts in which reform operates, the mechanisms by which it changes health systems and behaviour within health systems, and the outcome patterns that arise from – remains unexplored. This review aims to examine the implementation mechanisms underlying PPR in Asian developing countries. Methods A realist synthesis approach was employed to tease out the configurative elements of PPR in developing countries. A multimethod and retrospective search was conducted to locate the evidence. A programme theory and data extraction framework were developed. Data were analysed using thematic synthesis to inform an overarching realist synthesis, expressed as a set of synthesized context-mechanism-outcome configurations. Results This review found that the policy design of PPR, policy capacity, willingness of policy adoption at the local government level and provider autonomy are critical contextual factors that could trigger different policy mechanisms leading to either intended theoretical outcomes or perverse incentives. Conclusions Our findings, demonstrating the PPR implementation contexts and mechanisms that have worked in Asian countries, have implications in terms of policy learning for most developing countries that are contemplating rolling out similar reforms in the future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1355-8196
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 04:26
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/122175

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