HBI Deals+Insights / News

Which chronic conditions have health systems brought under control?

This week HBI looks at OECD data on quality across healthcare systems. We take asthma, diabetes and COPD and look at how rates of hospitalisation have changed since 2002.

The graph shows standardised hospital admission rates per 100,000 for the three chronic conditions across 19 different countries.

Looking first at asthma, the data shows that it has historically had relatively low admission rates although there is still a general trend of decline. Hungary, Finland, Israel and Ireland have seen the biggest decline while rates in Poland have increased and the country now has the highest hospitalisation rates in Europe (based on available data).

Finland has significantly decreased hospitalisations across all three conditions but still has high admission rates save for COPD. Italy, at the other end of the spectrum, has always had low admission rates and is today the lowest for all three conditions. This might be due to the way that Italy’s primary care sector is not segregated from diagnostics.

In Israel, the country’s largest state-mandated healthcare organisations Clalit is perhaps Europe’s biggest value-health project. It has electronic health records dating back 20 years and is implementing analytics to look at how it can better predict and monitor health conditions.

Diabetes has also seen a general decline in hospitalisation rates although it’s not as profound as asthma: the rates remain significantly higher in Austria.

COPD is rather messier and HBI would argue that this is the one chronic condition out of the three that healthcare systems have struggled to bring under control. Hospitalisations are volatile and only a few countries have seen a decline. Interestingly, this is the only chronic condition where Poland has seen a decline, elsewhere it is one of the only country’s seeing more hospitalisations for diabetes and asthma.

Value-health and quality in healthcare systems will be a key theme of this year’s HBI Policy Summit, which brings together operators and policymakers to discuss the biggest challenges in healthcare today.


We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Rachel Lewis or call 0207 183 3779.