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The project aims to help hospitals prepare for the new conditions that will apply once EU rules on patients’ rights to cross-border care come into force.
As EU countries decide how to transpose the directive, the project will fill an information gap by making available some preliminary but real data on the impact of patient mobility. It will refine methods for classifying and comparing tariffs for hospital care, and provide a framework for a pilot hospital network that can give participating hospitals practical experience of the opportunities and critical issues of cross-border care, and share problems and solutions.
Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme
The creation of a model that can yield information on the impact of greater patient mobility and the scale of cross-border movement could be useful both for EU legislators and national governments in monitoring the effects of the directive. This also meets one of the principal objectives of the 2nd programme of Community action in the field of health: “Generating and disseminating health information and knowledge”.
Methods and means
The project will set up a consultation process with patients, healthcare providers, national and regional ministries and policy makers. It will also map the outcomes of related projects. Field research will assess information already in hospital information systems on costs and numbers of cross-border patients, and analyse potential prediction methods for eight common elective treatments in a range of European countries. The effectiveness of the tools for information collection will be evaluated, particular on their clarity, coherence, and userfriendliness. Training will be provided on the data collection and data entry procedures. And guidelines will be developed on ethical considerations, in relation to privacy.
A network of hospitals will benefit from a functioning organisational structure with established means of communication and knowledge management systems for exchanging information on administrative issues related to payment of care for cross-border patients and feedback from patients on reimbursement costs and quality of care. Information will also be generated on the main problems facing hospitals over payment of care for crossborder patients, covering diagnosis categories and tariffs and discrepancies across different countries. Estimates will be produced of the impact of cross-border care in financial terms, for hospitals and for patients, as well as of patient satisfaction over reimbursement and quality of care.Recommendations will be made for the organisation of cross-border management of payment issues.