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Changes in Saturday outpatient volume and billings after introducing the Saturday incentive programme to clinics in South Korea: a longitudinal cohort study using claims data from 2012 to 2014.

 Hyun Ji Ha  ;  Kyu-Tae Han  ;  Sun Jung Kim  ;  Tae Yong Sohn  ;  Byungyool Jeon  ;  Eun-Cheol Park 
 BMJ OPEN, Vol.6(6) : 011248, 2016 
Journal Title
Issue Date
After-Hours Care*/organization & administration ; After-Hours Care*/standards ; Ambulatory Care/organization & administration* ; Ambulatory Care/standards ; Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration* ; Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards ; Cost-Benefit Analysis ; Efficiency, Organizational ; Female ; Health Policy ; Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration* ; Health Services Accessibility/standards ; Humans ; Longitudinal Studies ; Male ; Outpatients* ; Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration* ; Primary Health Care*/organization & administration ; Primary Health Care*/standards ; Program Evaluation ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology ; Workload
PRIMARY CARE ; clinics ; incentive program ; outpatient care
OBJECTIVE: In October 2013, the South Korean government introduced an incentive programme to increase the availability of Saturday treatment at clinics, hoping to increase the role of primary care providers as gatekeepers to medical care. To the best of our knowledge, no one has yet investigated this programme's effect on overall outpatient care. Our study aims to analyse the change in Saturday outpatient volume and billings in clinics that adopted the Saturday incentive programme. SETTING: Our study used 3 types of data from the period October 2012 to March 2014: National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) claims data, hospital evaluation data and medical institution data. PARTICIPANTS: These data consisted of 66 825 881 outpatient cases from 2837 clinics. INTERVENTIONS: Introducing the Saturday incentive programme. OUTCOME MEASURE: We performed a multilevel analysis that adjusted for clinic-level and outpatient-level variables to examine the difference in the percentage of Saturday outpatient volume and billings after introducing the Saturday incentive programme. RESULTS: The percentages of Saturday outpatient volume and billings were higher after introducing the programme (outpatient volume: β=2.065, p<0.001; outpatient billings: β=3.518, p<0.001). In addition, outpatient volume and billings on Friday and Saturday increased after introducing the programme, while those on weekdays, excluding Friday, decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the Saturday incentive programme has affected clinic outpatient care and is a worthwhile health policy in terms of promoting primary care. Thus, it may improve healthcare accessibility and quality of care, and prevent inappropriate usage such as emergency room visits by providing patients with weekend clinic hours.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
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