The Swiss Federal Council decided at its meeting on October 25th in 2017 to intensify its efforts to reduce healthcare costs. This decision is based on suggestions in a report by an international expert group. The expert group was charged by the Federal Department of Home Affairs (Eidgenössische Departement des Innern; EDI) with the development of a report proposing measures for the control of increasing cost in the Swiss healthcare sector in the end of 2016.
The group consisted of 14 professionals in the field of health economics and medical sciences. Their report suggests 38 measures that can be divided into three groups:
- Cost-control measures that are already implemented
- Cost-control measures that are in planning
- New cost-control measures
Around one third of the measures proposed by the expert group are already implemented or being planned by the Federal Council, such as the intensification of health technology assessments (HTA), the shift from inpatient to outpatient care and a reference price system in the pharmaceutical sector.
One of the main priorities of the new cost-control measures is the implementation of global budgets for different settings (including ambulatory) with sanctions. Further measures include the introduction of medical or indication boards to verify the medical necessity of procedures to reduce over-supply, encouragement of lump sums in the ambulatory sector, the simplification of parallel imports of medical technology and implants, annual review of prices.
The Federal Council has now charged the Federal Department of Home Affairs (EDI) with the task to submit proposals defining how the new measures can be implemented. The suggestions should be in accordance with five guidelines set by the Federal Council. Concrete measures will then be released for the legal consultation process as soon as possible.
An overview of all for cost-control measures is available in German here.
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