Background The Korean government implemented an outpatient co-payment scheme in July 2007 to control Medical-Aid beneficiaries’ overutilization of healthcare services. Objectives To assess changes in the utilization of medical services resulting from the outpatient co-payment scheme. Methods 410,142 subjects were selected and health insurance reimbursement data from July 2006 to June 2011 was examined. We assessed the changes in the total medical cost, total adjusted patient days, inpatient days, inpatient total medical cost, the number of outpatient visits, and outpatient total medical cost using segmented regression analysis. Results Following the introduction of the policy, the number of outpatient visits per person fell by 0.16 days in July 2008, and by 0.06 days in July 2010, compared to June 2007. The outpatient total medical cost per person rose by $4.11 in July 2010 compared to June 2007. The inpatient utilization increased constantly during the period of the study. So the total medical cost as well as the total adjusted number of patient days also increased constantly. Conclusion The outpatient co-payment policy was effective for reducing the number of outpatient visits. It could not control the cost per outpatient visit and inpatient utilization. So the total medical cost was increased.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy