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Defining the benefit basket in nine European countries: Evidence from the EU-HealthBASKET project.

Schreyögg J, Stargardt T, Velasco-Garrido M, Busse R
European Journal of Health Economics 6(Suppl 1): 2-10


This article identifies and analyses a framework for "health baskets," the taxonomy of benefit catalogues for curative services, and the criteria for the in- or exclusion of benefits in nine EU member states (Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain). Focusing on services of curative care, it is found that the explicitness of benefit catalogues varies largely between the countries. In the absence of explicitly defined benefit catalogues, in- and outpatient remuneration schemes have the character of benefit catalogues. The criteria for the in- or exclusion into benefit catalogues are often not transparent and (cost-)effectiveness is applied only for certain sectors. An EU-wide harmonization of benefit baskets does not seem realistic in the short or medium term as the variation in criteria and the taxonomies of benefit catalogues are large but not insurmountable. There may be scope for a European core basket.

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