Every year in the Netherlands, nearly 100,000 older people end up in the emergency room after a fall and more than 5,000 die as a result of a fall incident. Of these incidents, 28 percent are preventable if investments are made in prevention. That is why the unique crowdfunding campaign for the Health Impact Bond ‘Stevig Staan’ (‘Stand Strong’ in English), was launched last week in the Netherlands. The Health Impact Bond is an innovative program that was partly developed based on knowledge from Vilans and VeiligheidNL, a Dutch centre of expertise that focuses on injury prevention.
Together with BNP Paribas, private individuals are now able to invest in fall-prevention courses for 2,500 older people in seven North Limburg municipalities. The goal is to raise half of the amount (€775,000) through crowdfunding. If successful, the seven municipalities: Venlo, Horst aan de Maas, Beesel, Peel en Maas, Bergen, Gennep, Venray and health insurers will be able to save costs. With the money saved, the municipalities, the care office and health insurers will repay the investors. A consortium led by De Zorggroep is implementing the program.
Prevention is the solution
Ruben Koekoek, director of Social Finance NL and intermediary for the Health Impact Bond: “If you look at the costs of fall incidents alone, they are expected to double in the next ten years. We believe that investing in prevention is the solution, also to prevent more loss for the community. However, this requires a different way of working together and investing. Municipalities are responsible for prevention, while most of the social costs of falls are borne by health insurers. By setting up a Health Impact Bond, we offer a solution that benefits both the older people, the municipal governments and the health insurers. The fact that private individuals can now also invest in this makes the social business case complete as far as we are concerned.”
Citizens in the driving seat
Frans van Zoest, innovation expert at Vilans, was involved in the early feasibility study and the development phase. These kinds of innovative approaches are badly needed to make healthcare future-proof. The fact that private individuals are now being given the opportunity to contribute financially fits in well with the times in which it is increasingly the responsibility of citizens to be proactive. It is actually a kind of cherry on top of this social ‘cooperation cake’! We’ll certainly be following this in the coming years to see if it becomes more attractive.About
If the results of the intervention are positive, this will result in savings for health insurance companies, care offices (nursing home care) and municipalities (home care). Together, these benefits far outweigh the costs of the intervention itself, creating a socially positive business case.
The three parties are prepared to pay out the majority of the returns to the investors.