The Project

The Philippine Child Health and Policy Experiment, better known as the Quality Improvement Demonstration Study or QIDS, is a 5-year project funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It is lead by University of California San Francisco’™s Institute for Global Health and UPecon Foundation in collaboration with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and the Department of Health. The primary objective of QIDS is to evaluate the impact of health sector reform initiatives on the health status and cognitive development of children. QIDS examines the link between clinical care and health status, including the cognitive ability of children so that inferences can be made on the relationship between policy interventions in health and ultimately, economic growth.

Children represent an important population group in the Philippines, with twelve percent of the population belonging to the under six age group. However, statistics show that Filipino children are not among the healthiest. From the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Report, the prevalence of underweight pre-school children is 28%. The 6th National Nutrition Survey (2003) reveals that 30% of Filipino children under 5 years old are stunted (less than 2 standard deviations (SD) below the mean height for age), 27% are underweight (less than 2 SD below the mean weight for age) and 5.3% are wasted (less than 2 SD below the mean weight for height).

The Quality Improvement Demonstration Study or QIDS was launched in 2003 with an ambitious goal of evaluating the impact of policy on the health status of children. The study will take at least five years, with funding coming from the US National Institutes for Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The primary objective of QIDS is to carefully measure the effectiveness of policy interventions implemented by PhilHealth within the HSRA framework on the health status of children. The project likewise examines the link between clinical care and health status, including the cognitive ability of children so that inferences can be made on the relationship between policy interventions in health and ultimately, economic growth.

QIDS is an experiment with thirty hospital districts in the Visayas as participants. Two policy interventions were randomly assigned to these hospital districts, with 10 of the 30 serving as a control group. The Access intervention intends to increase access to care by expanding and assuring financial access to health care coverage for children under six. The Bonus intervention targets quality of care by enacting bonus payment to physicians for high quality care. Hospitals in the control group receive current benefit package and payment systems employed by PhilHealth.

Our research experiment collects longitudinal data to study the impact of these health reforms on the physical and cognitive health outcomes of children. This unparalleled research opportunity will yield significant insights about specific, unanswered questions of tremendous importance: Does health care serve as a social intervention that ameliorates the effects of morbidity and malnutrition on cognitive development in early childhood? How effective are government policies at creating incentives to improve the quality of clinical practice? Do financial and organizational policies actually lead to better health and developmental outcomes

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