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HealthBASKET (2004-2007 Finished)

HealthBASKET was a part of the Specific Targeted Research or innovation project in the European Commission’s 6th Framework programme (Grant: SP21-CT-2004-501588). The project was launched in April 2004 and was completed in March 2007. The participating countries included Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Click here to access the final project report:
(available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish).

Project Overview

The Kohll/Decker judgments of the European Court of Justice and the Geraets-Smits/Peerbooms cases have demonstrated that health services can no longer be regarded as operating in isolation from other EU Member States. Increasingly there are flows of patients from one Member State to another, sometimes as a matter of individual choice, sometimes organised at national level through Ministries of Health.

For rational decision-making, national and EU policy-makers need reliable comparisons about available health services, how these are defined, what their costs are and which prices they will have to pay for them. The HealthBASKET project addressed these needs of knowledge in a clear and unambiguous manner, by focusing specifically on the basket of services and by reviewing and developing methodologies to assess costs and prices of individual services across EU Member States. The project approached these issues in a descriptive and analytical way for a sample of 9 Member States and Accession Countries representing the various types of healthcare systems.

Project Aims:

  • Collect and describe how different countries define the services provided within the system by analysing both the structure and contents of benefit ‘catalogues’ (or ‘baskets’) as well as the process of defining these benefits catalogues;
  • Explore the possibilities of building a European taxonomy of benefits, based on that analysis and other relevant classifications, to enable a common language for cost comparisons;
  • Review methodologies used to assess costs and prices of services across countries and to identify ‘best practice’ in the analysis of costs at the micro-level with the scope of international comparability;
  • Assess costs variations between and within countries, using a selection of ‘case-vignettes’ representing needs for care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • Identify what data is required in order to engage in meaningful international comparisons. The research includes the involvement of policy-makers in the workshops, regular reporting of results to policy-makers, using an Advisory Board with representation of WHO, European Observatory on Healthcare Systems, OECD, as well as provider organisations to ensure that the potential impact on standards development as well as public health and healthcare development in the EU can be turned into an actual impact.

HealthBASKET Participants

Berlin University of Technology, Germany
Bocconi University, Italy
Centre for Health Economics, University of York, United Kingdom
Danish Institute for Health Services Research, Denmark
Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
National School of Public Health, France
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Poland
Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary
Universitat Pompeu i Fabra, Spain

Results: Phase 1

This phase was completed in September 2005 and dealt with the question of service definition. The results included:


Individual Country Analyses in which the project partners collected and described the ways in which services provided within the system are defined, by analysing both the structure and contents of benefit “catalogues” (or “baskets”) as well as the process of defining these benefits catalogues. Benefit reports for each country were produced and are available for download below.

Denmark | England | France | Germany | Hungary | Italy | Poland | Spain | The Netherlands

Synthesis Report providing a systematic overview of the different systems based on a comparative analysis of the country analyses. Click here to review report.

Exploration of the possibilities of building a European taxonomy of benefits, based on the basket analysis and other relevant classifications, in order to enable a common language for cost comparisons.

Results: Phase 2

This phase was completed in October 2005 and involved a review of methodologies to assess costs from an academic and from a more practical point of view. The results included:

Country Analyses in which the partners collect and describe methodologies used to assess costs and prices of services. Reports for each country were produced and are available for download below.

Denmark | England | France | Germany | Hungary | Italy | Poland | Spain | The Netherlands

Systematic Review to identify best practice in the analysis of costs at the micro-level with the scope of international comparability. This resulted in the production of a literature review titled "The main methodological issues in costing health care services" and compiled by the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, UK. The literature review is available from the EHMA office.

Results: Phase 3

This phase of the project was completed in December 2006. The phase represents an empirical exercise of cost assessment of a selection of services from the in-patient and from the out-patient setting and involved:

Country Analyses to assess costs of individual health services using a selection of “case-vignettes” representing need for care in both inpatient and out-patient settings. Reports for each country were produced and are available for download below.

Denmark (Part 1) | Denmark (Part 2) | England | France | Germany | Hungary | Italy | Poland | Spain | The Netherlands

Synthesis Report providing an international comparison of costs of services based on the country analyses. Click here to download report.