Mapping variability in allocation of long-term care funds across payer agencies in OECD countries

Ruth Waitzberg, Andrea E. Schmidt, Miriam Blümel, Anne Penneau, Antonis Farmakas, Åsa Ljungvall, Francesco Barbabella, Gonçalo Figueiredo Augusto, Gregory P. Marchildon, Ingrid Sperre Saunes, Dorja Vočanec, Iva Miloš, Joan Carles Contel, Liubove Murauskiene, Madelon Kroneman, Marzena Tambor, Pavel Hroboň, Raphael Wittenberg, Sara Allin, Zeynep Or

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Long-term care (LTC) is organized in a fragmented manner. Payer agencies (PA) receive LTC funds from the agency collecting funds, and commission services. Yet, distributional equity (DE) across PAs, a precondition to geographical equity of access to LTC, has received limited attention. We conceptualize that LTC systems promote DE when they are designed to set eligibility criteria nationally (vs. locally); and to distribute funds among PAs based on needs-formula (vs. past-budgets or government decisions). Objectives: This cross-country study highlights to what extent different LTC systems are designed to promote DE across PAs, and the parameters used in allocation formulae. Methods: Qualitative data were collected through a questionnaire filled by experts from 17 OECD countries. Results: 11 out of 25 LTC systems analyzed, fully meet DE as we defined. 5 systems which give high autonomy to PAs have designs with low levels of DE; while nine systems partially promote DE. Allocation formulae vary in their complexity as some systems use simple demographic parameters while others apply socio-economic status, disability, and LTC cost variations. Discussion and conclusions: A minority of LTC systems fully meet DE, which is only one of the criteria in allocation of LTC resources. Some systems prefer local priority-setting and governance over DE. Countries that value DE should harmonize the eligibility criteria at the national level and allocate funds according to needs across regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-500
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Allocation formula
  • Equity
  • Funds allocation
  • Long-term care
  • Payer agencies


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