Testing cost containment of future healthcare with maintained or improved quality—The COSTCARES project

Karl Swedberg, Desmond Cawley, Inger Ekman, Heather L. Rogers, Darijana Antonic, Daiga Behmane, Ida Björkman, Nicky Britten, Sandra C. Buttigieg, Vivienne Byers, Mats Börjesson, Kirsten Corazzini, Andreas Fors, Bradi Granger, Boban Joksimoski, Roman Lewandowski, Virgilijus Sakalauskas, Einav Srulovici, Jan Törnell, Sara WallströmAxel Wolf, Helen M. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Increasing healthcare costs need to be contained in order to maintain equality of access to care for all EU citizens. A cross-disciplinary consortium of experts was supported by the EU FP7 research programme, to produce a roadmap on cost containment, while maintaining or improving the quality of healthcare. The roadmap comprises two drivers: person-centred care and health promotion; five critical enablers also need to be addressed: information technology, quality measures, infrastructure, incentive systems, and contracting strategies. Method: In order to develop and test the roadmap, a COST Action project was initiated: COST−CARES, with 28 participating countries. This paper provides an overview of evidence about the effects of each of the identified enablers. Intersections between the drivers and the enablers are identified as critical for the success of future cost containment, in tandem with maintained or improved quality in healthcare. This will require further exploration through testing. Conclusion: Cost containment of future healthcare, with maintained or improved quality, needs to be addressed through a concerted approach of testing key factors. We propose a framework for test lab design based on these drivers and enablers in different European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere309
JournalHealth Science Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Health Science Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • cost containment
  • health economics
  • health policy
  • health promotion
  • health service preventive
  • person-centred care
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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