Financial protection of rural health insurance for patients with hypertension and diabetes: repeated cross-sectional surveys in rural China
AuthorLiu, X; Sun, X; Zhao, Y; Meng, Q
Source TitleBMC Health Services Research
PublisherBIOMED CENTRAL LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sZhao, Yang
AffiliationMedicine Dentistry & Health Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLiu, X., Sun, X., Zhao, Y. & Meng, Q. (2016). Financial protection of rural health insurance for patients with hypertension and diabetes: repeated cross-sectional surveys in rural China. BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH, 16 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1735-5.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: The New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) in rural China has been expanding in both population coverage and benefit package. China has also established an essential medicine policy in recent years to further reduce patients' medical expenditures and financial burden. This study aims to evaluate the impact of these policies on reducing medical expenditures and financial burden of patients diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes. METHODS: This study used repeated cross-sectional surveys in 2011 and 2012 in three counties of Shandong Province. Outpatient and inpatient service expenditures and catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) were measured and analyzed. RESULTS: Medical expenditures for outpatient services significantly increased for hypertensive and diabetic patients within a 1 year period, while inpatient service expenditures remained unchanged. Although NCMS increased its reimbursement rate, hypertensive and diabetic patients still heavily suffered CHE from both outpatient and inpatient services. Outpatient services were more important factors than inpatient services contributing to non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) patients' financial burden. CONCLUSIONS: The effects of NCMS expansion have been offset by the rapid escalation of medical expenditures. More attention should be paid to the design of NCMS benefit package to cover NCD outpatient services. There is also an urgent need to reform the current Fee for Service to other provider payment methods in order to control the escalating NCD medical expenditures.
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