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Effects of life-sustaining treatment plans on healthcare expenditure and healthcare utilization

 Wonjeong Jeong  ;  Selin Kim  ;  Hyunkyu Kim  ;  Eun-Cheol Park  ;  Sung-In Jang 
 BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH, Vol.23(1) : 1236, 2023-11 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Cohort Studies ; Decision Making ; Delivery of Health Care* ; Health Expenditures* ; Humans ; Patient Acceptance of Health Care ; Withholding Treatment
Health expenditures ; Health utilization ; Life support care ; Terminal care ; Withholding treatment
Purpose: To develop an ethical and cultural infrastructure for Life-Sustaining Treatment (LST) plan, it is crucial to carefully analyze its impact and ensure that healthcare utilization is maintained at an appropriate level, avoiding excessive medical interventions. This study aims to investigate the effects of LST decisions on both healthcare expenditure and utilization.

Methods: This cohort study utilized claims data from the National Health Insurance Service, encompassing all medical claims in South Korea. We included individuals who had planned to withdraw or withhold their LST between January and December 2018, identified by claim code IA71, IA72, IA73. We followed a total of 28,295 participants with documented LST plan who were deceased by June 2020. Participants were categorized into LST withdrawal / withholding and LST continuation groups. The dependent variables were healthcare expenditure and utilization. We construct a generalized linear model to analyze the association between these variables.

Results: Out of the 28,295 participants, 24,436 (86.4%) chose to withdraw or withhold LST, while the rest opted for its continuation. Compared to the LST continuation group, those who chose to withdraw or withhold LST had 0.91 times lower odds for total cost. Additionally, they experienced 0.91 times fewer hospitalization days and 0.92 times fewer outpatient visits than those in the LST continuation group.

Conclusion: Healthcare expenditure and utilization deceased among those choosing to withdraw or withhold LST compared to those continuing it. These findings underscore the significance of patients actively participating in decision regarding their treatment to ensure appropriate levels of medical intervention for LST. Furthermore, they emphasize the critical role of proper education and the establishment of a cultural framework for LST plans.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
Jang, Sung In(장성인) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0760-2878
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