Care coordination & patient choice

Wednesday, 01.10.2014 | 14:30 - 17:30

Organised by Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions in cooperation with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Strengthening Primary Healthcare (PHC), particularly in ‘social-insurance countries’ with their traditionally high freedom of choice, is nowadays seen as an instrument to raise quality and continuity of care leading to improved health outcomes. Primary Healthcare should provide a comprehensive scope of health services such as first contact care for acute health problems, disease management for acute and chronic diseases and prevention. Coordination of care is a core attribute of PHC and refers to the ability to guide the patient through the health system.

In its most restrictive form, the patient can only use one provider as a single entry point to the system (gate-keeping system). Such restrictions conflict with the habit or the idea of patients’ freedom of choice concerning providers and the point of entry. Different countries cope with the trade-off between these conflicting goals in different ways.

The forum session will focus on the question of choice by:

  • analysing typical care situations;
  • working out the typical care procedures in different settings; and
  • the pros and cons from the perspective of different stakeholders from different countries.

The audience will not only be invited to contribute to the discussion, but also to influence the programme by answering condensed questions and giving immediate feedback to the speakers. In this session we will not only concentrate on health system aspects but will also lay a specific focus on the patients’ perspective. Representatives of patients’ organisations and all participants in their role as a patient are invited to contribute their own experiences as patients as well as their professional expertise.

Addressing choice in Austrian Primary Healthcare reform: Policy options

Clemens Martin Auer, Director General, Federal Ministry of Health, Austria

Let's ask! What happens, if ...?

Peter Groenewegen, Director, NIVEL, the Netherlands

Dominique Polton, Economist, CNAMTS, France

Balancing choice and continuity of care: Addressing the conundrum

Ellen Nolte, former Director, Health and Healthcare, RAND Europe, Cambridge, UK

Interactive panel discussion: Freedom of choice - a value in itself?

José M Martin-Moreno, Professor, University of Valencia, Spain

Ellen Nolte, Director, Health and Healthcare, RAND Europe, Cambridge, UK

Suzanna Palkonen, European Patients’ Forum

Josef Probst, Director General, Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions, Austria


Josep Figueras, Director, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

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