Variable prospective financing in the Danish hospital sector and the development of a Danish case-mix system

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Abstract

This article aims to describe and assess the Danish case-mix system, the cost accounting applied in setting national tariffs and the introduction of variable, prospective payment in the Danish hospital sector. The tariffs are calculated as a national average from hospital data gathered in a national cost database. However, uncertainty, mainly resulting from the definition of cost centres at the individual hospital, implies that the cost weights may not fully reflect the hospital treatment cost. As variable prospective payment of hospitals currently only applies to 20% of a hospital's budget, the incentives and the effects on productivity, quality and equality are still limited.

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