Health Economics

Hospital corridor

Rising costs and fiscal pressures are combining to create an irresistible movement for change in health services worldwide. However, the future of health service organisations will depend on their ability to ensure that change creates new opportunities for investment and improves rather than limits services. The future needs to be different from the past.

Volterra works with clients in both the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to seize these new opportunities. Our combination of health sector experience, modelling techniques and policy connections makes us uniquely placed to help and improve health services across the globe.


Health and Life Sciences

Making a Global Diagnosis

Discussion of health options has been too limited by national boundaries and parochial concerns. Partly driven by the highly specialized debate in the US, most discussion of health issues revolves around the fine details of national systems. This has meant a failure to diagnose issues of common concern and to be able to identify best practice on an international level. Yet there are key trends in health economics which are affecting all health systems across Europe, Asia and the US.

These trends include:
  • Fiscal squeeze, limiting available resources for private (insurance and/or out of pocket) and public (i.e. tax) funded healthcare
  • Ageing, increasingly mobile populations with rising expectations of their rights to access high-cost treatments (where cost can often be viewed as a signal for quality)
  • Rising incomes leading to higher expectations of lifetime health quality
  • Tendency of medical professionals to choose high-tech, high-cost solutions
  • Tendency to create pathologies around lifestyle choices
  • Increasing challenges to training programmes and medical staffing

Understanding Behaviour Change in Health

Governments, policy makers and organisations are increasingly looking to understand how they can bring about changes to our behaviour. Traditional models of economics hold that we operate as individual ‘rational’ decision-makers, acting on a careful calculation of the associated costs and benefits. But we know, for example, that people choose not to eat healthily or do exercise – despite the long term ramifications. Moreover, behavioural economics and networks analysis show that what (and how much) people choose to consume can be considerably influenced by surrounding social norms and practices.

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