Within all European countries, economic factors affecting health care continue to be important. A prime concern in the 1990's for health care is that of efficiency - value for money.
Specific objectives for MEMPHIS are:
1. to develop a model of the aggregate relationships between health care expenditures, health care demands and economic variables which will be helpful in predicting future expenditures and planning for future health needs;
2. to develop a suitable generic model of hospital and other health care cost-output relations, which will be useful to managers and other actors in the health care sector, in the form of a prototype.
3. to present the minimum common data requirements for the construction and use of such models;
4. to develop a suitable form of presentation for the outputs of the analysis which will be meaningful to identified actors in the health care sector, in the form of a prototype;
5. to undertake an assessment of the economic models and prototype systems which will demonstrate their effectiveness in responding to user requirements.
Research has been carried out in order to develop economic models, econometric models and supporting management tools and to construct evaluated telematics prototypes for analysis, forecasting and simulation of economic information for use in heath care.
A series of requirements analysis (tools prototyping) iterations have taken place to produce the specification requirements of telematics tools needed by health care.
The content of the models is primarily based on econometric analysis of data based upon proper specifications of theory and data producing working models for analysis, forecasting and simulation.
Major outputs of the project are a set of economic models of the health care sectors in Europe, a health expenditure model and a prototype working informatics system which implements these models for use by healthcare decision makers.
This project aims to provide an extensive system for the analysis of economic information in the health care systems of Europe. It involves the collaboration of economists, health care providers and telematics specialists, who will construct evaluated prototype models for use by health care providers.
The economic information which forms the heart of the project will be developed at two levels. A series of sectorial models of the health care system will be developed (including acute hospital in-patients services, pharmaceutical services, insurance services, etc,) which will enable health care managers to analyse the effects of key variables on trends and performances in the sector concerned. A total health expenditures model, which integrates these sectorial models will also be developed, which will enable providers at the state, regional or sick fund level to perform similar analyses.
A series of requirements analysis - tools prototyping iterations have taken place which have enabled the specification of requirements upon telematics tools required by health care managers in the use of the models. This has also provided input into the modelling work, through the demonstrations of working models at the end of each prototype implementation phase.
The content of the models is provided by econometric analysis of data based upon proper specifications of theory and data. These are producing working models for analysis, forecasting and simulation of economic information. A final stage of the project will be the assessment of models.
Major outputs of the project are therefore a set of economic models of the health care sectors in Europe, which will be integrated via a total health expenditures model, a prototype working informatics systems for use of these models, and a full assessment both of the models and the systems.
The key issues to be addressed are the scope and content of the economic and econometric models and the issues associated with developing the models and their outputs so as to fulfil the needs of the user community, such as health services managers. Other key issues are related to IT and T content; the ways in which information is presented to the user of the tool and in the definition, collection and analysis of the required data (and data sets).
Relationship to Previous Work
The MEMPHIS project builds on some of the work from the AIM Exploratory Action in particular the work done by the McACE project (A1009) in the area of minimum data sets and resource use management. The project also builds on previous related econometric work in the areas of hospital cost modelling and international comparisons of health care expenditure, and the experience of economic modelling in other sectors and fields.
MEMPHIS is extending the concepts and tools of economic and econometric modelling in health care to improve the planning and efficiency of European Health Services. The impact will be enhanced by the use of MEMPHIS tools to provide a common analytical framework which enables a broad comparison base to be built.
Relationship to other projects and actions
The project intends to investigate suitable relationships with appropriate AIM related projects. Examples of likely projects to which MEMPHIS could contribute and which may themselves contribute results are: SHINE, NUCLEUS and FEST, and to a lesser extent, BEAM, ORATEL, PROCAS, QUICHE and TELEGASTRO.
The consortium is already arranging to participate in a workshop organised by the European SPES (simulation plan for economic science) programme of DGXII.
Testbed and Verification
Recognising that evaluation of the output of the project is a crucial component, MEMPHIS has an assessment work package, which will commence when the modelling and prototyping has reached its penultimate stages. This activity will be related to the results from the earliest stages of the project where user requirements are determined. The result will be assessment reports which assist relevant organisations in the EC (including consortium members) to develop final products from the specifications and prototypes which MEMPHIS will produce.
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