The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) is a network of policymakers and practitioners from low- and middle-income countries that learn from one another, jointly solve problems, and collectively produce and use new knowledge, tools, and innovative approaches to accelerate country progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).
JLN members engage with each other to share experience and jointly problem solve around the following technical areas:
Provider Payment Mechanisms: Health provider payment systems—the way health providers are paid to deliver services—are increasingly being recognized as a powerful tool in the pursuit of universal health coverage (UHC). In their provider payment reform efforts, many countries are struggling to establish a cost basis for payment rates – the average cost per unit of service provided—to better leverage provider payment policy for UHC (see Box). Determining the cost of health services and then using this cost information to inform payment rates is not easy in data-constrained environments. Members of the Provider Payment track are working together to develop a costing manual, based on their experience, to provide practical guidance to other countries.
Expanding Coverage: One of the major challenges countries face is expanding coverage to achieve universality -- where all populations, including the informal sector and disadvantaged groups, have access to comprehensive benefits. Members of the Expanding track participate in knowledge-sharing and joint-learning activities around challenges related to reaching the poor, developing key performance indicators for the expansion of coverage to disadvantaged and/or under-served populations and an information dashboard for countries to monitor and track progress against areas such as enrollment, access to health care, and utilization of health care services for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
Information Technology: Policies, implementation challenges, technologies, and models of UHC programs vary from country-to-country. Yet, one challenge all systems face is the need for consistent data exchange. Data and information exchange is fundamental to running a successful healthcare system. Without it, healthcare providers, insurers, government agencies, and other stakeholders are unable to communicate effectively, which can lead to poor customer care, a system that fails to respond to the needs of a nation, and inadequate financial management. But information systems are costly investments that all too often do not meet the needs of users due to inadequate identification of functional requirements, lack of interoperability between systems, or poor vendor choice. Aiming to prevent these common complications, members of the Information Technology track work together to develop common tools that can be shared across countries and used to develop national health insurance information system plans.
Quality: A high-quality health system is defined by its fidelity to cost-effective, evidence-based care; its capacity to continuously learn from and prevent errors; and its commitment to the respect and dignity of the patients and families it serves. Policymakers, payers, providers, patients and the public each have a role to play in achieving these goals. Through collaboration, they can achieve an effective quality strategy that, combined with expansions in health care access, will achieve improvements in health outcomes. Quality track members helps payers work together to gain a deeper understanding of the options available for improvement in health system quality. Their activities focus on the following areas: building will among multi-stakeholder leadership for an investment in quality of care, strengthening accreditation and empanelment, implementing clinical guidelines and protocols, and establishing systems for performance measurement.