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Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, has rushed to address public concerns about a plan to assign each citizen a score based on their projected need for social and health care services.
Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, has rushed to address public concerns about a plan to assign each citizen a score based on their projected need for social and health care services.

 

Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, has rushed to assure that citizens will not be assigned an individual score based on their projected need for social and health care services as part of the upcoming social and health care reform.

The score, she says, will be determined based on personal data, but the data will be grouped anonymously before they are submitted to social and health care providers.

“The counties would reimburse the social and health care centres for each customer, but the social and health care centres wouldn’t know the customer-specific reimbursements. The data on customer-specific reimbursements would be grouped anonymously. People wouldn’t be given an individual score but a score as part of a specific group,” explains Saarikko.

Personal data would thus be used to calculate a coefficient for certain population groups, such as 40–45-year-old employed women or 60–65-year-old unemployed men with diabetes.

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“Although the calculations are based on personal data, the coefficients would be calculated for a population group that shares certain characteristics, not for individual social security numbers,” says Saarikko.

“A data set consisting of personal data would be used to calculate coefficients with statistical methods that represent the factors that affect the use of health care services,” she adds.

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) would then utilise the coefficients to determine the capitation reimbursement of each social and health care centre, while not disclosing any individual’s share of the reimbursement.

Finnish authorities have also rushed to remind that calculating the capitation reimbursements as accurately as possible is in the best interests of especially the citizens who require a lot of social and health care services. The service providers, they explained, would have no incentive to hand-pick healthier customers by means of marketing or advertising when the reimbursements vary depending on actual service needs.

Saarikko also assured that data security concerns have been taken into account in preparing the social and health care reform.

“It’s completely understandable that people are concerned about how their data will be used, when a wealth of information is moving online more and more freely and when such information can also be utilised commercially,” she said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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