How Can Health System Efficiency Be Improved in Canada?
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Improving value for money in the health system is an often-stated policy goal. This study is the first to systematically measure the efficiency of health regions in Canada in producing health gains with their available resources, and to identify the factors that are associated with increased efficiency. Based on the objective elicited from decision-makers that the health system should ensure access to care for Canadians when they need it, we measured the efficiency with which regions reduce causes of death that are amenable to healthcare interventions using a linear programming approach (data envelopment analysis). Variations in efficiency were explained in part by public health factors, such as the prevalence of obesity and smoking in the population; in part by characteristics of the population, such as their average income; and in part by managerial factors, such as hospital readmissions.
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