The impact of a bundled policy intervention on improving the performance of rural healthcare in China.

Int J Equity Health 2016 Mar 10;15:46. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA.

Background: The strategy of health policy has been changed for improving the performances to meeting the increasing healthcare demands. However, limited evidences were found to prove that the bundled payment was valid for service delivering in public sector. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a bundled policy on strengthening the county-village communication and improving the quality of chronic disease management.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using the data collected in 2011, 2012 and 2014 from the Rural Health Development Project in China. The policy intervention included performance-related contract with health facilities, developing technical guideline for doctors and nurses, routine monitoring of performance, and efforts to increase public awareness about the services. There were two intervention counties in Henan Province, China, while one county with similar characteristics in Henan was selected as control. Funding allocation, work load and salary for health care workers, volume of township-to-village technical assistance were reported before and after the policy was implemented. Our study also examined the policy impacts on improving treatment outcomes of diabetes and hypertension care.

Results: There were substantial increases in the provision of the basic package of services including 96.6 % of patients with hypertension, 91.2 % of patients with diabetes under the health management system. After the intervention, there were 34.3 % (hypertension) and 42.0 % (diabetes) increase in regular follow-up visit rates, 24.6 and 17.2 % increase in blood pressure and blood glucose control rates, respectively. The family health records system covered 96 % of the rural families. Technical assistance between township health centres and village clinics were enhanced. Compared with baseline, the monthly training meeting and field supervision & guidance between township health centres and village clinics increased 1.0 meeting, 1.5 field visits, respectively, while the increases in the control county were only 0.3 meeting and 0.3 field visits. At the end of this study, 93.8 % of health workers achieved their performance goals. More patients were referred to appropriate levels of care.

Conclusion: This bundled policy intervention effectively improved rural health care delivery. The result of our study can be used for local governments to implement performance-based health system management in developing country.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-016-0334-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4785664PMC
March 2016
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