Some Aspects of the Reform of the Health Care Systems in Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Health Care Analysis 7 (4):331-354 (1999)
The health care systems in Austria, Germany and Switzerland owe their institutional structure to different historical developments. While Austria and Germany voted for the Bismarck-Model of social health insurance,Switzerland adopted a voluntary system of health insurance. In all three countries, until very recently, the different challenges which the healthcare sector faced were met by piecemeal approaches and by stop and go policies, which, in the long run were not very successful either in containing costs or in improving efficacy and efficiency. During the 1990 more fundamental reforms in the health care systems of all three countries took place. Germany and Switzerland chose the path of deregulation of the health insurance system, which consequently strengthened the competition between the insurance companies, and, to some extent between the suppliers of medical services. While this can be seen as an essential part of the reform process for these two countries, Austria favors a state-oriented and interventionist approach in order to meet the challenges.
Keywords cream skimming  health care reforms  health insurance competition  hospital financing  long term care  risk equalization scheme
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009426731833
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