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Kela is helping to make the Sote reform a success

The target of the ongoing health, social services and regional government reform (the Sote reform) is to establish new regional governments, overhaul the funding, services and structure of social and health services, and transfer new responsibilities to the regional governments. The reform is planned to be phased in starting from the beginning of 2020.

The aim of the Sote reform is to offer the population more equal access to services, to reduce disparities in health and wellbeing, and to contain costs.

The reform will impact Kela’s operations for example in the following ways:

  • Kela will create information management services allowing users to exercise their freedom of choice and produce information for various end users. The information management services comprise the Kanta services and various new functionalities related to the freedom of choice. In future, clients will choose their preferred service provider via the My Kanta service.
     
  • The benefit schemes administered by Kela may also undergo changes. For example, there are plans to abolish certain reimbursements of medical expenses as the funding for social and health services is streamlined. A number of benefits may also undergo substantive changes.
     
  • Kela’s role may be redefined as social and health services and social security benefits become more tightly intertwined. This will ensure that clients have broad-based access to the services they need.

Kela has a nationwide organisation, and may for example be able to provide advice and guidance to clients in navigating the reform. It may also be possible to utilise Kela’s extensive customer service network, which includes the Kanta services.

The reform will have an impact on Kela’s personnel, organisation and operating models.

Making information generally available

The reform of regional government will transform the structures of Finnish society and lead to the transfer of major government functions from municipal to regional governments. The clients’ freedom to choose their service provider, however, will be expanded on a national basis. Therefore, information must also be available nationwide.

Together with the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the Population Register Centre and the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), Kela is building information management services enabling freedom of choice for clients. The project is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. When client data are stored in Kela’s information systems, they can be kept safe in the hands of a single public agency.

Easy communications nationwide between different organisations is a prerequisite for the Sote reform to succeed.

Information management services to allow clients to exercise their freedom of choice

Kela is working with other national organisations to gradually implement the information management services required by the Sote reform to allow individual clients to exercise their freedom of choice.

In the first phase, Kela is building an information system for a pilot project testing direct choice among health and social service centres. Direct choice means that clients can choose their preferred private or public provider of health and social services.

As part of the pilot projects, a system for capitation payments to selected service providers will be implemented as well. Work will proceed in step with the expansion of the clients’ freedom of choice.

In subsequent phases, Kela will put together information systems to enable freedom of choice for oral health services and county enterprises as well as the national information systems required to introduce personal budgets and service vouchers, as specified in the Act on Freedom of Choice .

The system built by Kela to underpin the clients’ freedom of choice is a national data repository containing data on

  • choices made by clients
  • services received by clients
  • reimbursements paid to service providers
  • contracted service providers.

All necessary data will be available nationwide to different organisations.

Contact information

  • Marjukka Turunen, Director of Change Management, tel. 040 528 5371
  • Pipsa Lotta Marjamäki, Director of Communications, tel. 040 511 4381

Email: firstname.lastname@kela.fi

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