The quest to expand the coverage of public health insurance in the occupied Palestinian territory: an assessment of feasibility and sustainability using a simulation modelling frameworkSameera Awawda, Mohammad Abu-Zaineh et Bruno Ventelou, The Lancet, Volume 393, pp. S17, 2019

In their quest for universal health coverage (UHC), many developing countries explore alternative financing strategies to address the potential budgetary impact of health coverage expansion (for example, deferred debt versus current finance through taxation or premiums). Given the limited fiscal space, these policies may have different implications for fiscal sustainability and may worsen intergenerational inequality.

We assessed the impact of UHC on fiscal sustainability and intergenerational inequality using an overlapping generations model within a general equilibrium framework, which we calibrate using data from the Palestinian Expenditures and Consumption Survey (PECS-2011) and the Social Accounting Matrix (SAM-2011). Fiscal sustainability is assessed using a prudent debt–GDP level of 39%. Intergenerational inequality induced by different policies is assessed by comparing the relative incremental burden (RIB) borne by each generation following the policy adjustment.

In the absence of any policy adjustment, an ad hoc expansion of health coverage would increase the debt–GDP level to 15% above the prudent level. This indicates that the UHC fiscal stance may be financially unsustainable in the long run, therefore calling for a policy adjustment. Among the policies we examined, UHC finance through the increase of premiums (whether current or deferred) seems to be unsustainable and may further widen intergenerational inequality (RIB∈[3,6]). By contrast, current finance through indirect taxes helps to restore a prudent debt–GDP level and seems to be associated with a lower level of intergenerational inequality than deferred-debt finance through direct taxation (RIB of 1·25 and 5, respectively).

Among the policy options assessed, the current indirect taxation emerged as the best policy option in terms of its impact on both fiscal sustainability and intergenerational inequalities. However, from a policy perspective, the capacity of governments to raise additional revenues might be constrained in the short-term. Under such circumstances, deferred-debt finance may be preferred—a situation in which policy makers may have to trade fiscal sustainability against intergenerational inequality.

The A*MIDEX project (number ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02) funded by the French Government programme Investissements d'avenir, managed by the French National Research Agency (ANR).

SA prepared the data, conceived the framework for the study and carried out data analysis. MA-Z developed the framework for the study, carried out data analysis and wrote the Interpretation section. BV developed the framework for the study. All authors have seen and approved the final version of the Abstract for publication.

Assessing the potential outcomes of achieving the World Health Organization global non-communicable diseases targets for risk factors by 2025: is there also an economic dividend?Marion Devaux, A. Lerouge, Bruno Ventelou, Y. Goryakin, A. Feigl, S. Vuik et M. Cecchini, Public Health, Volume 169, pp. 173-179, 2019

This study assesses the change in premature mortality and in morbidity under the scenario of meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) global targets for non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors (RFs) by 2025 in France. It also estimates medical expenditure savings because of the reduction of NCD burden.

Study design:
A microsimulation model is used to predict the future health and economic outcomes in France.

A ‘RF targets’ scenario, assuming the achievement of the six targets on RFs by 2025, is compared to a counterfactual scenario with respect to disability-adjusted life years and healthcare costs differences.

The achievement of the RFs targets by 2025 would save about 25,300 (and 75,500) life years in good health in the population aged 25–64 (respectively 65+) years on average every year and would help to reduce healthcare costs by about €660 million on average per year, which represents 0.35% of the current annual healthcare spending in France. Such a reduction in RFs (net of the natural decreasing trend in mortality) would contribute to achieving about half of the 2030 NCD premature mortality target in France.

The achievement of the RF targets would lead France to save life years and life years in good health in both working-age and retired people and would modestly reduce healthcare expenditures. To achieve RFs targets and to curb the growing burden of NCDs, France has to strengthen existing and implement new policy interventions.

Comportements et pratiques des médecins : exercer dans les zones les moins dotées, cela fait-il une différence ?Julien Silhol, Bruno Ventelou, Anna Zaytseva et Claire Marbot, Revue francaise des affaires sociales, Issue 2, pp. 213-249, 2019

Selon les projections récentes, les effectifs de médecins libéraux diminueront de 30 % d’ici à 2027 et la densité standardisée diminuerait jusqu’en 2023, créant des poches de sous-densité relativement nombreuses sur le territoire français métropolitain. L’article s’intéresse aux ajustements que les médecins généralistes de ville mettent en œuvre lorsque, sur leur territoire, ils sont d’ores et déjà confrontés à cette raréfaction. Les données utilisées sont celles du troisième panel des médecins généralistes enrichies d’indicateurs fournis par la CNAMTS. Nous nous sommes appuyés sur l’indicateur d’accessibilité potentielle localisé, développé par l’IRDES et la DREES, pour définir les zones les moins dotées en généralistes. En comparant les comportements des généralistes exerçant dans les zones les moins dotées à leurs homologues des zones mieux dotées, il est apparu d’abord que le planning d’activité du médecin tend à s’intensifier plutôt qu’à s’allonger. Nos données semblent en effet montrer que les rythmes de consultation dans les zones les moins dotées sont plus élevés, alors que le temps de travail global des généralistes s’avère quant à lui peu réactif à la densité en médecins alentour. On note aussi quelques différences statistiquement significatives sur les pratiques médicales : usage accru de certains médicaments, moins de renvoi vers des soins paramédicaux, suivis gynécologique probablement un peu moins réguliers, etc. Cependant, il semble que les différences ne sont pas statistiquement significatives pour les indicateurs de qualité des pratiques rattachés au dispositif de rémunération sur objectifs de santé publique (ROSP).
According to recent projections, the number of private practice physicians will decrease by 30 % by 2027 and the standardised density will continue to decline up to 2023, thus creating territorial inequalities in physicians’ distribution in mainland France. This article focuses on the adaptations that private general practitioners (GPs) make when they already practice in underserved areas. The data used are those of the third panel of general practitioners matched with indicators provided by the Social Security (CNAMTS). We used the local potential accessibility indicator developed by IRDES and DREES to define the underserved areas for general practitioners. Our results show that GPs’ consultation rhythm is higher in underserved areas, while the overall working-time is not very responsive to the local medical density. We also find some statistically significant differences in practices : more frequent prescription of certain drugs, less referrals to paramedical care, probably less regular gynaecological follow-up, for GPs practicing in underserved areas compared to their counterparts in better-served areas. However, it appears that there are no significant differences regarding the indicators of Rémuneration sur objectifs de santé publique (ROSP) [French supplementary payment-for-performance] program, which could allow a first assessment of the quality of care.

Epidemiological Transition and the Wealth of Nations: the Case of HIV/AIDS in a Microsimulation ModelYves Arrighi et Bruno Ventelou, Revue d'économie politique, Volume 129, Issue 4, pp. 591-618, 2019

This paper aims at quantifying the effect of healthcare programs on economic outcomes in the context of developing countries experiencing epidemiological transitions. It is widely accepted in the literature that treatment programs result in production gains among ill-health workers. However, these programs have the additional effect of modifying both the size and the composition of the working population by increasing the proportion of chronically-ill individuals. First, we define the theoretical conditions under which this macro-epidemiological phenomenon outweighs the positive effect of an increase in production. Second, we decompose the economic consequences of access to antiretroviral treatments against HIV in three sub-Saharan African countries. Forecasts of an individual’s health status, depending on whether he or she has access to medication, are generated using a microsimulation model. We use the model to generate a counterfactual (as if the adverse epidemiological effect did not exist), which allows decomposing the total impact of the HIV-medicines program into two different effects: positive and negative. We find that the positive effect of treatment procurement outweighs the negative epidemiological effect. Of course, this approach is only an indicator of economic performance and should in no way constitute a decision-making criterion about the ethical necessity of access to health care.

IntroductionCarine Franc, Alain Paraponaris et Bruno Ventelou, Revue d'economie politique, Volume 129, Issue 4, pp. 441-445, 2019


Child Income Appropriations as a Disease-Coping Mechanism: Consequences for the Health-Education RelationshipRenaud Bourlès, Bruno Ventelou et Maame Esi Woode, The Journal of Development Studies, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp. 57-71, 2018

This paper analyses the relationships between HIV/AIDS and education taking into account the appropriative nature of child income. Using a theoretical model, we show that considering remittances from one’s child as an insurance asset can reverse the usual negative relationship between disease prevalence and educational investment. This prediction confirms the results of an empirical study conducted on data compiled from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) database for 12 sub-Sahara African countries for children aged between 7 and 22-years-old. Using regional HIV prevalence as a measure of health risk, we find that the ‘sign of the slope’ between health risk and the enrolment of children is not constant. Splitting the data based on expected remittance patterns (for example rural versus urban), we obtain that the effect is most likely driven by household characteristics related to child income appropriation.

Comparing GPs’ risk attitudes for their own health and for their patients’ : a troubling discrepancy?Antoine Nebout, Marie Cavillon et Bruno Ventelou, BMC Health Services Research, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp. 283, 2018

In this paper, we report the results of risk attitudes elicitation of a French general practitioners national representative sample (N=1568).

Community Economic Distress and Changes in Medicare Patients' End-of-Life Care CostsWilliam B. Weeks, Mariétou H. L. Ouayogodé, Bruno Ventelou, Todd Mackenzie et James N. Weinstein, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp. 742-743, 2018

Real reductions in decedents’ per-capita Medicare fee-forservice
(FFS) spending accounted for most of Medicare’s
cost growth mitigation between 2009 and 2014.1 Decedents’
spending reductions immediately followed the Great Recession
of 2007–2009, which accounted for 14% of the decline
in overall Medicare spending growth between 2009 and
2012.2 Since Medicare patients living in lower income areas
spend more at the end of life (EOL),3 we sought to explore
whether local economic distress levels were associated with
decedents’ spending.

Predicting medical practices using various risk attitude measuresSophie Massin, Antoine Nebout et Bruno Ventelou, The European Journal of Health Economics, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp. 843–860, 2018

This paper investigates the predictive power of several risk attitude measures on a series of medical practices. We elicit risk preferences on a sample of 1500 French general practitioners (GPs) using two different classes of tools: scales, which measure GPs’ own perception of their willingness to take risks between 0 and 10; and lotteries, which require GPs to choose between a safe and a risky option in a series of hypothetical situations. In addition to a daily life risk scale that measures a general risk attitude, risk taking is measured in different domains for each tool: financial matters, GPs’ own health, and patients’ health. We take advantage of the rare opportunity to combine these multiple risk attitude measures with a series of self-reported or administratively recorded medical practices. We successively test the predictive power of our seven risk attitude measures on eleven medical practices affecting the GPs’ own health or their patients’ health. We find that domain-specific measures are far better predictors than the general risk attitude measure. Neither of the two classes of tools (scales or lotteries) seems to perform indisputably better than the other, except when we concentrate on the only non-declarative practice (prescription of biological tests), for which the classic money-lottery test works well. From a public health perspective, appropriate measures of willingness to take risks may be used to make a quick, but efficient, profiling of GPs and target them with personalized communications, or interventions, aimed at improving practices.

Contribution à « Rareté » et « Biens et services de santé »Bruno Ventelou, Marie Cornu, Fabienne Orsi et Judith Rochfeld (Eds.), 2017, PUF, 2017