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Webinar: Another take on the efficiency question? Wasteful spending on health
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When: Friday, September 27, 2019
7:00 AM ET / 1:00 PM CET
Where: Online/Webinar
Presenter: Agnès Couffinhal, PhD. Senior Economist, Health, Nutrition and Population division, The World Bank
Contact: iHEA

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Another take on the efficiency question? Wasteful spending on health –insights from OECD countries

Presented by the Health systems’ efficiency’ Special Interest Group (EFFSIG) 


In countries of the OECD and beyond, a significant share of health spending is at best ineffective and at worst wasteful. Wasteful spending occurs on services and processes that are either harmful or do not deliver benefits to patients and when costs are incurred that could be avoided by substituting cheaper alternatives with identical or better benefits. For example, one in ten patients is adversely affected during treatment by preventable errors, and more than 10% of hospital expenditures are spent on correcting the resulting harm. Many patients receive unnecessary or low-value care. The potential for generic medicines also remains underexploited in many countries. Furthermore, several administrative processes and costs also add no value at the end beneficiary level. Overall, existing estimates suggest that up to one-fifth of the health spending could be leveraged towards a better use of available resources. In the preparation of their last quinquennial meeting, the Ministers of the OECD countries commissioned a report on this issue which Agnès Couffinhal led the preparation of. In this webinar, she will share the framework developed for that report presentation, some key findings of the report, and in addition, she will also discuss lessons learned from the policy debates that this report has generated.

Speaker: Agnès Couffinhal, PhD. Senior Economist, Health, Nutrition and Population division, The World Bank, Washington, DC

Agnès Couffinhal is specialized in the analysis of health systems and policies. She is a senior economist at the World Bank (Health, Nutrition and Population division) were she started working in 2005. In her portfolio, she uses a range of analytical, advisory, and financial tools to support national Governments, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in their efforts to improve health systems’ performance. In recent times, she had spent four years at the OECD where she prepared two major analytical reports on efficiency and equity. She also wrote heath sector reviews for Lithuania and Kazakhstan, and contributed to an analysis of planned health reforms in Finland.


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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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