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Impact of Changes in Medical Aid Status on Health Care Utilization

 Woorim Kim  ;  Chung-Mo Nam  ;  Sang Gyu Lee  ;  Sohee Park  ;  Tae-Hyun Kim  ;  Eun Cheol Park 
 Health Policy and Management (보건행정학회지), Vol.29(4) : 513-522, 2019 
Journal Title
 Health Policy and Management (보건행정학회지) 
Issue Date
Medical Aid ; Medical Aid alteration status ; Welfare exit ; Health care utilization ; Medical utilization
Background: South Korea operates a Medical Aid (MA) program targeting selected low-income individuals to ensure medical service delivery to the disadvantaged while enhancing self-sufficiency of work-capable beneficiaries. However, as reasons behind welfare exits are diverse and do not always infer poverty relief or the provision of appropriate levels of health care services, this study aimed to investigate the association between changes in MA status and health care utilization. Methods: This study used the 2006 to 2015 National Health Insurance claims data. The impact of changes in annual MA status on health care utilization (yearly number of outpatient visits, inpatient visits, length of stay, and emergency department [ED] visits) was investigated using the generalized estimating equation model. Results: In 117,943 adult subjects aged 20 to 64, compared to the ‘MA to MA’ group, the ‘MA to MA exit’ group showed general decreases in utilization (outpatient visits: β=-3.93, p<0.0001; hospital admissions: relative risk [RR], 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83–0.91; length of stay: β=-3.64, p<0.0001; ED visits: RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77–0.90). Similar patterns were found in the ‘MA exit to MA exit’ group (outpatient visits: β=-5.72, p<0.0001; admissions: RR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87–0.94; length of stay: β=-5.87; p<0.0001; ED visits: RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.75–0.88). Likewise, in 74,747 older adult subjects aged 65 or above, the ‘MA to MA exit’ group showed reduced levels of utilization (outpatient visits: β=-1.51; p=0.0020), as well as the ‘MA exit to MA exit’ group (admissions: RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.89–0.95; length of stay: β, -5.45; p<0.0001; ED visits: RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83–0.97). Conclusion: MA exit was associated with general decreases in health care utilization. Utilization patterns of individuals with experiences of receiving MA benefits should be monitored to promote the ideal use of health care services while preventing potential financial barriers present in accessing medical care.
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Appears in Collections:
4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Tae Hyun(김태현) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1053-8958
Nam, Chung Mo(남정모) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0985-0928
Park, So Hee(박소희) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8513-5163
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
Lee, Sang Gyu(이상규) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4847-2421
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