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BHeC releases health accounts report

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Tiara Carlington, Bermuda Health Council project manager (Photograph supplied)
Ricky Brathwaite, chief executive of the Bermuda Health Council (Photograph supplied)

Standardised fees helped to deliver a cut in the spend on hospital services from 2017 to 2018, the Bermuda Health Council said today.

Tiara Carlington, a project manager for public health research and programmes, said the change was a significant finding from the 2019 National Health Accounts Report.

Ms Carlington said: “One of the benefits of these annually published reports, is that they provide an opportunity to see how seemingly small and/or isolated changes impact the system overall.

“Of note in this report was the standardisation of hospital fees which resulted in an overall reduction in fee per service and ultimately expenditure on hospital services from 46 per cent of total expenditure in 2017 to 42 per cent in 2018.

“Such findings help to inform future changes as we look to make the system more cost effective, and make health services more accessible.”

The document was released by the health council for the tenth year to show “the origin and allocation of health system funds, and events that impact the health system”.

The health council said that the report reaffirms its “commitment to working towards health system sustainability, while providing the stakeholders and the public with the information necessary to understand and assess our health system”.

Ricky Brathwaite, the BHeC chief executive officer, explained: “The tracking of our healthcare costs over time gives us an opportunity to dissect what we may be doing well and where we may need to improve.

“We are still seeing increases in system costs, but the rate has dramatically slowed over the last few years.

“While costs are an indicator of the volume and types of services being delivered, we understand that there is a much more detailed narrative behind the numbers.

“The goal here is to align our cost structure with improving our health outcomes.”

He said: “We want to make sure that residents of Bermuda are receiving high quality care that fits within the economic constraints of our country.

“In addition to receiving healthcare, we have to be focused on all facets of our society pushing us towards better health.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that beyond spending on healthcare we must be solution-oriented and agile as integrated stakeholders in the face of changing environments, changing risks, and changing global forces.

“I applaud our team at the health council for continuing to provide timely information to the public to support progressive decision making.”

A spokeswoman added that highlights from the report included the collection of data and analysis.

She said: “Health system data is collected and reviewed through financial statements or health claims data provided by local health insurers and approved schemes.”

The report included information about financing sources as well as categories of expenditure.

The spokeswoman added: “Transparency is one of the council’s top priorities, as such, the report explains where and how public and private sector sources of financing are collected and how those funds are distributed around the health system.”

She said: “The report looks at how Bermuda compares to other jurisdictions based on levels of expenditure, economic productivity and health outcomes.”

*To read the report, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”.

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Published November 06, 2020 at 10:57 am (Updated November 06, 2020 at 3:36 pm)

BHeC releases health accounts report

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