Impact of a diagnosis-related group payment system on cesarean section in Korea

Seung Ju Kim, Kyu Tae Han, Sun Jung Kim, Eun Cheol Park, Hye Ki Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cesarean sections (CSs) are the most expensive method of delivery, which may affect the physician's choice of treatment when providing health services to patients. We investigated the effects of the diagnosis-related group (DRG)-based payment system on CSs in Korea. We used National Health Insurance claim data from 2011 to 2014, which included 1,289,989 delivery cases at 674 hospitals. We used a generalized estimating equation model to evaluate the association between the likelihood of cesarean delivery and the length of the DRG adoption period. A total of 477,309 (37.0%) delivery cases were performed by CSs. We found that a longer DRG adoption period was associated with a lower odds ratio of CSs (odds ratio [OR]: 0.997, 95% CI: 0.996-0.998). In addition, a longer DRG adoption period was associated with a lower odds ratio for CSs in hospitals that had voluntarily adopted the DRG system. Similar results were also observed for urban hospitals, primiparas, and those under 28 years old and over 33 years old. Our results suggest that the change in the reimbursement system was associated with a low likelihood of CSs. The impact of DRG adoption on cesarean delivery can also be expected to increase with time, as our finding provides evidence that the reimbursement system is associated with the health provider's decision to provide health services for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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