The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) is the most important healthcare provider in Costa Rica. In 2019, it received the United Nations Public Service Award for the implementation of its digital medical records, known as EDUS, in 100 percent of its facilities. EDUS is the latest in a series of healthcare innovations many of them at the organizational level—encouraged by the Costa Rican government. Organizational innovations, often more than technological improvements, are responsible for dramatic cost reductions and value creation. Thus, scholars are strongly promoting health policies that encourage various types of organizational innovations. This case reviews the Costa Rican public healthcare system, particularly its innovative primary health care model that was launched in 1994. We discuss key antecedents and public policy decisions that allowed the EBAIS (Equipos de Atención Básica en Salud) model to become a successful organizational innovation. We analyze this model’s financial structure, as well as some of its main outcomes to date. The paper concludes by identifying takeaways for achieving high-quality universal health coverage, established as a priority among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Health Management Policy & Innovation
Incae Business School

Prado, A, Rodríguez, P., & Salas, A. (2019). Innovation in the Public Sector: The Costa Rican Primary Healthcare Model. Health Management Policy & Innovation, 4(2).