MUNICH, GERMANY, July 9, 2010 — The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has awarded Verisk Health a contract to conduct an independent scientific assessment of the use of various morbidity factors in risk sharing between Switzerland’s public health insurers. Verisk Health successfully prevailed in the competitive bidding process against various European scientific institutes and specialized consulting firms.
The Munich-based Analytics Department of Verisk Health will collaborate with an expert from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in order to produce a report on the suitability, effects, and predictive power of various models for spreading risk between public insurers. The report is to be completed by the end of September 2010. “Risk adjustment practices and the inclusion of morbidity factors are the only way to promote the further development of an egalitarian health insurance system in a fair and cost-efficient manner,” explained Dr. Ralph Leonhardt, the Director of Analytics at Verisk Health International. “In our report, we will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using individual morbidity factors, analyze varying incentive systems, and assess the potential for fraud and abuse.”
Applicants to Switzerland’s public health insurance system are not screened, and all insured persons pay the same premium, regardless of their demographic morbidity risks. Age and sex are the only two parameters that have been used to date to spread risk between statutory insurers. “The Office of Public Health now hopes to use more sophisticated risk adjustment methods beyond these rudimentary and imprecise risk factors,” Dr. Leonhardt added. “Verisk Health’s comparative report will provide members of the Swiss parliament with the methodological, legal, and political information they need to decide for or against a given model.”
In drafting the report, Verisk Health will draw upon its experience with the German risk structure equalization scheme (RSA), as well as its work with other European health systems. The company played a key role in developing the RSA’s algorithms, grouping systems, and hierarchy factors.
Verisk Health, a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics, leverages healthcare data to help businesses and governments understand their medical and financial risk for the purpose of managing costs and clinical outcomes more effectively. Through the combination of leading predictive science, a comprehensive evidence-based clinical engine, and advanced technology, we have created one of the most extensive independent risk-assessment and decision-analytics platforms in the healthcare industry. Our primary focus is to identify actionable strategies for managing healthcare costs and quality at both the individual and population levels. We consistently research, evaluate, and invest in our business to ensure that we remain leaders in our industry and provide the most efficient and effective solution for our clients. For more information, please visit www.veriskhealth.com.
Trish Tarantino (Verisk Health)