This issue of the International Journal of Healthcare Finance and Economics features eight
articles evaluating different provider payment methods in comparative international perspective, with authors from Hungary, China, Thailand, the US, Switzerland, and Canada. These contributions illustrate how the array of incentives facing providers shapes their interpersonal, clinical, administrative, and investment decisions in ways that profoundly impact the performance of health care systems. Taken as a whole, the articles show that in addition to the specifics of the reimbursement or remuneration scheme for individual providers and provider organizations, other factors matter—including ownership, allocation of control rights (such as in public-private partnerships), and expectation of a bail-out (soft budget constraints). All of these facets of payment and accountability systems shape the quality and efficiency of service delivery.