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Towards community-based integrated care: trends and issues in Japan’s long-term care policy

26 Feb 2014

Introduction: In 2000, Japan implemented a mandatory long-term care insurance system. With the rapid growth of the system, problems became apparent. Several critical alterations were made to the long-term care insurance system, particularly with respect to integrated care.

Methods: This paper elucidates the policy trends that led to the reforms of the long-term care insurance system, which included new concepts of ‘integrated care’ and ‘community-based care’, an agenda of cost containment and service streamlining, and coordination with medical care.

Results: Community-based integrated care, as envisaged in the long-term care policy, includes not only the integration of medical care into service provision but also the inclusion of the informal mutual aid, oversight of for-profit providers by an administration that ensures users are not exploited and coordination between systems that cover different geographical areas.

Conclusions: Japan’s experience in community-based care integration suggests that this project requires multi-faceted care integration in local communities. In the future, it will be necessary to conduct empirical assessments of the effectiveness of these measures.

26 February 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Integrated Care