Health Services Management




Explaining differences in stakeholder take up of disease management programmes: A comparative analysis of policy implementation in Austria and Germany

Autoren/Herausgeber: Schang, L.
Thomson, S.
Czypionka, T.
Erschienen: 2016
Publikationsart: Articles in Refereed Journals (International)
erschienen in: Health Policy



Understanding why policies to improve care for people with chronic conditions fail to be implemented is a pressing issue in health system reform. We explore reasons for the relatively high uptake of disease management programmes (DMPs) in Germany, in contrast to low uptake in Austria. We focus on the motivation, information and power of key stakeholder groups (payers, physician associations, individual physicians and patients).


We conducted a comparative stakeholder analysis using qualitative data from interviews (n = 15 in Austria and n = 26 in Germany), legal documents and media reports.


Stakeholders in Germany appeared to have systematically stronger motivation, exposure to more positive information about DMPs and better ability to implement DMPs than their counterparts in Austria. Policy in Austria focused on financial incentives to physicians only. In Germany, limited evidence about the quality improvement and cost savings potential of DMPs was mitigated by strong financial incentives to sickness funds but proved a fundamental obstacle in Austria.


Efforts to promote DMPs should seek to ensure the cooperation of payers and patients, not just physicians, using a mix of financial and non-financial instruments suited to the context. A singular focus on financially incentivising providers is unlikely to stimulate uptake of DMPs.

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