Capitation in Healthcare

by Developed Africa 19. March 2014 09:00

Capitation has recently been expanded in Ghana, Developed Africa takes a look at the implications of the system

Capitation is a method for healthcare provision in which the state gives a certain amount of money to healthcare providers per patient. In theory, this should lead to a better service, as:

capitation offers a vast array of incentives for providers to increase efficiency in their medical practice, since they must absorb any additional cost if they exceed the fixed amount that is allocated per person."

However it is noted that in order for this method of healthcare payment to be implemented well there needs to be a vigorous regulatory body to ensure that there are no abuses of the system, such as provision of sub-quality healthcare. In order for the expansion of capitation to benefit the people of Ghana, it needs to be properly regulated to make sure that they are receiving the best care that they can because the risk for patients under the capitation model is that the doctor could make decisions regarding their treatment based on the fact that they will make money by providing less care.

But putting aside the potential negative aspects of the model, it could overall be a good move:

data and information from close monitoring and evaluation of the implementation experience will be essential to provide much needed local evidence on what is working well and what needs further modifications to guide the process forward and make adjustments along the way."

It is therefore a good step towards creating a fully functioning health care system that can be improved upon through evidence and evaluation.

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