Objectives: Extant research on cost-sharing finds no impact on health care utilization when the amount is insubstantial. This research investigates the effects on nonacute outpatient services for schoolchildren with refractive errors in Taiwan and discusses the potential harm caused by cost sharing and relevant cost containment policies. Methods: Longitudinal claims data from the National Health Insurance database are employed. District demographic information is also used for aggregate-level analyses. Interventional modeling is conducted on pooled individual-level data with a Poisson model and negative binomial models. Generalized least square modeling is performed on aggregate district-level data to elucidate the impacts of cost sharing and the reimbursement rate with controls for patient and institutional characteristics, district socioeconomic factors, and competitiveness among institutions. Results: The findings of this study show that cost sharing does not significantly affect children’s utilization of outpatient services in the patient-level analyses. However, it significantly decreases the service volume based on the results of district aggregate analyses. There are potentially marginal patients in society, and they are more likely to be girls in poorer families, whose chances of seeking medical care significantly decrease when cost sharing increases. Conclusions: The gap in health inequity can be widened when stringent cost-containment policies are implemented. The offset effect caused by delayed care may also result in higher health care expenditures later. Cost sharing for children should be separately and prudently designed to better protect them from deprivations caused by changes in health policies.
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Jun|
- demand elasticity
- global budgeting
- health inequity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health