Argentina’s Incentive-Based Health Program Shows Positive Results

Writing in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a senior fellow at the CGD, and Kate McQueston, a program coordinator to the global health policy team, examine Argentina’s “innovative results-based financing program between its federal and provincial authorities called Plan Nacer,” which “uses small financial incentives — equivalent to less than one percent of total provincial spending on health — to reward those provinces that enroll poor, uninsured women and children in the program and improve related health outcomes.” They add, “Now, after almost a decade of implementation, the program’s preliminary evaluation results show that these modest incentives have had an impact.” Glassman and McQueston note a recent discussion among the program’s stakeholders and conclude, “These results provide important insight into how small incentives can enhance health outcomes and with hope will serve as a model for the scale up of similar programs in other countries with decentralized health systems” (10/2).