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Performance-Based Financing: Report on Feasibility and Implementation Options Final September 2007

Smithson, P., Iteba, N., Mukasa, O., Mzige, A., Mapunda, M. and Minja, G. (2007) Performance-Based Financing: Report on Feasibility and Implementation Options Final September 2007. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the feasibility of introducing a performance-related bonus scheme in the health sector. After describing the Tanzania health context, we define “Performance-Based Financing”, examine its rationale and review the evidence on its effectiveness. The following sections systematically assess the potential for applying the scheme in Tanzania. On the basis of risks and concerns identified, detailed design options and recommendations are set out. The report concludes with a (preliminary) indication of the costs of such a scheme and recommends a way forward for implementation. We prefer the name “Payment for Performance” or “P4P”. This is because what is envisaged is a bonus payment that is earned by meeting performance targets1. The dominant financing for health care delivery would remain grant-based as at present. There is a strong case for introducing P4P. Its main purpose will be to motivate front-line health workers to improve service delivery performance. In recent years, funding for council health services has increased dramatically, without a commensurate increase in health service output. The need to tighten focus on results is widely acknowledged. So too is the need to hold health providers more accountable for performance at all levels, form the local to the national. P4P is expected to encourage CHMTs and health facilities to “manage by results”; to identify and address local constraints, and to find innovative ways to raise productivity and reach under-served groups. As well as leveraging more effective use of all resources, P4P will provide a powerful incentive at all levels to make sure that HMIS information is complete, accurate and timely. It is expected to enhance accountability between health facilities and their managers / governing committees as well as between the Council Health Department and the Local Government Authority. Better performance-monitoring will enable the national level to track aggregate progress against goals and will assist in identifying under-performers requiring remedial action. We recommend a P4P scheme that provides a monetary team bonus, dependent on a whole facility reaching facility-specific service delivery targets. The bonus would be paid quarterly and shared equally among health staff. It should target all government health facilities at the council level, and should also reward the CHMT for “whole council” performance. All participating facilities/councils are therefore rewarded for improvement rather than absolute levels of performance. Performance indicators should not number more than 10, should represent a “balanced score card” of basic health service delivery, should present no risk of “perverse incentive” and should be readily measurable. The same set of indicators should be used by all. CHMTs would assist facilities in setting targets and monitoring performance. RHMTs would play a similar role with respect to CHMTs. The Council Health Administration would provide a “check and balance” to avoid target manipulation and verify bonus payments due. The major constraint on feasibility is the poor state of health information. Our study confirmed the findings of previous ones, observing substantial omission and error in reports from facilities to CHMTs. We endorse the conclusion of previous reviewers that the main problem lies not with HMIS design, but with its functioning. We advocate a particular focus on empowering and enabling the use of information for management by facilities and CHMTs. We anticipate that P4P, combined with a major effort in HMIS capacity building – at the facility and council level – will deliver dramatic improvements in data quality and completeness. We recommend that the first wave of participating councils are selected on the basis that they can first demonstrate robust and accurate data. We anticipate that P4P for facilities will not deliver the desired benefits unless they have a greater degree of control to solve their own problems. We therefore propose - as a prior and essential condition – the introduction of petty cash imprests for all health facilities. We believe that such a measure would bring major benefits even to facilities that have not yet started P4P. It should also empower Health Facility Committees to play a more meaningful role in health service governance at the local level. We recommend to Government that P4P bonuses, as described here, are implemented across Mainland Tanzania on a phased basis. The main constraint on the pace of roll-out is the time required to bring information systems up to standard. Councils that are not yet ready to institute P4P should get an equivalent amount of money – to be used as general revenue to finance their comprehensive council health plans. We also recommend that up-to-date reporting on performance against service delivery indicators is made a mandatory requirement for all councils and is also agreed as a standard requirement for the Joint Annual Health Sector Review. P4P can also be applied on the “demand-side” – for example to encourage women to present in case of obstetric emergencies. There is a strong empirical evidence base from other countries to demonstrate that such incentives can work. We recommend a separate policy decision on whether or not to introduce demand-side incentives. In our view, they are sufficiently promising to be tried out on an experimental basis. When taken to national scale (all councils, excepting higher level hospitals), the scheme would require annual budgetary provision of about 6 billion shillings for bonus payments. This is equivalent to 1% of the national health budget, or about 3% of budgetary resources for health at the council level. We anticipate that design and implementation costs would amount to about 5 billion shillings over 5 years – the majority of this being devoted to HMIS strengthening at the facility level across the whole country.

Item Type: Other
Keywords: Payment for Performance, Health, Health Care, Health Financing, Tanzania
Subjects: Health Systems > Health financing & economics
Divisions: Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2013 08:07
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2013 08:07

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