The implementation of DRG-based hospital reimbursement in Switzerland: A population-based perspective

Busato, André; von Below, Georg (2010). The implementation of DRG-based hospital reimbursement in Switzerland: A population-based perspective. Health research policy and systems, 8, p. 31. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1478-4505-8-31

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Background Switzerland introduces a DRG (Diagnosis Related Groups) based system for hospital financing in 2012 in order to increase efficiency and transparency of Swiss health care. DRG-based hospital reimbursement is not simultaneously realized in all Swiss cantons and several cantons already implemented DRG-based financing irrespective of the national agenda, a setting that provides an opportunity to compare the situation in different cantons. Effects of introducing DRGs anticipated for providers and insurers are relatively well known but it remains less clear what effects DRGs will have on served populations. The objective of the study is therefore to analyze differences of volume and major quality indicators of care between areas with or without DRG-based hospital reimbursement from a population based perspective. Methods Small area analysis of all hospitalizations in acute care hospitals and of all consultations reimbursed by mandatory basic health insurance for physicians in own practice during 2003-2007. Results The results show fewer hospitalizations and a relocation of resources to outpatient care in areas with DRG reimbursement. Overall burden of disease expressed as per capita DRG cost weights was almost identical between the two types of hospital reimbursement and no distinct temporal differences were detected in this respect. But the results show considerably higher 90-day rehospitalization rates in DRG areas. Conclusion The study provides evidence of both desired and harmful effects related to the implementation of DRGs. Systematic monitoring of outcomes and quality of care are therefore essential elements to maintain in the Swiss health system after DRG's are implemented on a nationwide basis in 2012.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Busato, André




BioMed Central




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:09

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2019 16:47

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URI: (FactScience: 201622)

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