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Value Measurement Approach in Healthcare: Meta-Analysis of European Health Care Systems against Cancer, using Published Data

Miguel Rothes, José Laranja-Pontes, Francisco Rocha-Gonçalves

Background: Cancer has grown into one of the major causes of death in the world, especially in higher income countries, where cancer is among the top causes of death. Also, two of the main focuses of the actions taken by countries in cancer fight are efficiency and effectiveness, in their continuous demand for better results from the limited resources available.

Methods: This research article aims at comparing value in delivering healthcare to cancer patients in several countries in Europe, using Meta-analysis. Recent research, much of which publish in The Lancet, focused on specific aspects (such as outcomes or costs) that can be brought together in a logical manner. In practice, we operationalize Porter’s (2010) definition of value measurement where “the concept of value refers to the output achieved relative to the cost incurred”.

Findings: Some countries tend to present a positive relation between costs and survival; others also present good value in healthcare against cancer (VHC) ratios, but at the expense of very low spending, considering the costs involved, and having under-average outcomes; and some achieve acceptable survival rates in an inefficient way.

Interpretation: We not only identified and ranked countries based in VHC, but also concluded that this ratio assumes the form of an interesting indicator of the marginal impact that an extra given amount invested in cancer has on the survival rate. This research shows that some of the most effective systems are also among the less efficient ones, and vice-versa. As a result the VHC ratio is proposed as a tool to improve the current ability to analyse healthcare systems.

Funding: Not applicable: data was available in publish articles that are referenced in the article; and the authors funded the research by their own means.