Globally, governments are seeking to develop equitable and sustainable healthcare systems for delivering universal healthcare coverage under budget constraints. This chapter provides an analysis of fee-for-service, a commonly used payment mechanism for reimbursement of healthcare providers, and proposes appropriate reform in order to promote cost containment in the context of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The analysis used secondary data derived from the literature. The analysis revealed that capitation, case-based, and global budget provider payment mechanisms have the potential to control healthcare costs by creating incentives for providers to reduce the volume of services. Capitation payment has the potential to promote provider efficiency, while global budget may reward inefficient hospitals if risk adjustors (such as gender and age) are not considered in the resource allocation formula. Both capitation payment and global budget have lower administrative costs compared to fee-for-service. Development of supporting measures is crucial including legal, financial, referral, quality assurance, and management information systems.
Part of the book: Universal Health Coverage