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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Yale: Collaborating with China to Develop New Medical Payment Models

Improving China’s medical payment models was the topic of discussion when Yale School of Public Health Dean Sten H. Vermund recently met with officials from China’s National Health Commission in Beijing as part of the country’s ongoing healthcare reform efforts.

Dr. Vermund studied China’s new efforts to develop a Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) system. This patient classification system standardizes prospective payment to hospitals and encourages cost containment initiatives.  Dr. Vermund’s trip was just the latest step in a collaboration between YSPH and the Chinese government. As it seeks to modernize its healthcare system, China is tapping leading YSPH faculty for their expertise. At the same time, Dr. Vermund said, the collaboration is providing a new lens through which to view weaknesses in the U.S. system.

With unprecedented access to Chinese healthcare data, a team of experts from YSPH will begin work in Beijing in June 2019. The first set of projects involve DRG pilot experiment evaluations, health policy reform evaluations, medical service pricing variations, environmental and climate challenges to health care, retirement and health.

Dr. Xi Chen, assistant professor of health policy and economics, has been instrumental in forging the DRG partnership. He was the keynote speaker in March at the first Yale-China DRG Forum, held at Yale Center Beijing, at which more than 50 senior Chinese healthcare leaders and officials from hospitals from Beijing, Chongqing, Guangdong, Hubei, and Shanxi. The Forum addressed the urgency of studying DRGs and potential adoption in China to transform its health care system to be more affordable, efficient, making healthcare quality comparable across different regions and payments based on quality of services.