blog Rewarding prevention, reducing risk: Tackling the global NCD epidemic with a new community-based health financing model - Joep Lange Institute

Rewarding prevention, reducing risk: addressing the global NCD epidemic with a new community-based health financing model

Disease prevention through healthy living is the only way forward for health systems worldwide, to address both the growing non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemic and the goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

However, the transition to healthier living is about more than just individual choice. It requires the joint effort of governments, the healthcare sector, private sector players such as the food industry, and communities and individuals. Together they can change the focus of healthcare systems from treatment to prevention and transform our default lifestyle to a healthier one. With the UN High level meeting on UHC later this year, the question of how to sustainably finance health systems worldwide and tackle the NCD epidemic is highly relevant.

Without addressing the root causes of the NCD epidemic, there will never be enough resources to sustainably finance UHC.

A healthier lifestyle, including exercise, healthy diet, no smoking or alcohol, enough sleep and reduced stress can prevent up to 80% of cardiovascular diseases, and around 40% of cancers. Healthy living can also reverse chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes.

At the same time, there are many counterproductive incentives that make substantial investments in prevention difficult: We live in a world where cheap unhealthy products are everywhere, making healthy choices extremely difficult. Most payment systems in health make healthcare providers focus on treatment over prevention (fee-for-service-models). For governments, measures affecting consumers’ free choice and market regulation are sensitive.

At JLI, we believe that with changing societal perspectives on health by grasping the opportunities of the technological revolution, now is the time to make a change.

The whitepaper expresses our view on how we can make a start with this transformation. A community-based insurance model is proposed, wherein population health goals are aligned with patient, provider and payer incentives with three core elements:

(1) Prevention-oriented healthcare delivery: focus on self-management of chronic conditions and healthy living with a move from fee-for-service to population based financing.

(2) Sharing benefits and building healthy communities: reward individuals and communities for healthy behavior.

(3) the use of data pools to both “predict, personalize and prevent” community health needs and return value to the communities who own and control their data rights.

Given that under our current healthcare system we cannot sustainably finance the growing NCD epidemic and also achieve UHC, now is the time to act so that communities worldwide are encouraged to invest in their own health.

Curious to find out more, and to deep dive into our proposed model? Find the whitepaper here! 

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