Metrics details Abstract In —, new outpatient service locations were established in poor Hungarian micro-regions.
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We exploit this quasi-experiment to estimate the extent of substitution between outpatient and inpatient care. In our dynamic specification, PAH effects occur in the year after the treatment, whereas non-PAH only decreases with a multi-year lag. The instrumental variable estimates suggest that a one euro increase in outpatient care expenditures produces a 0.
Our results 1 strengthen the claim that bringing outpatient care closer to a previously underserved population yields considerable health benefits, and 2 suggest that there is a strong substitution element between outpatient and inpatient care. Introduction How to best allocate limited public resources across outpatient and inpatient healthcare services to achieve maximum improvement in health outcomes is one of the perennial questions of health policy all over the world.
To inch closer to answering that question, we have to understand, disentangle, and accurately measure the relationships between those two levels of care.
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What are the respective and aggregate changes in health care expenditures? In this paper, we use panel data from a quasi-experimental setting provided by an expansion of specialist outpatient care in Hungary between andgreatly improving access, to contribute to answering those questions.
At the highest level of abstraction, nationwide health policy planning is about maximizing health outcomes of the population constrained by limited public and private resources. This is done through financing many functional channels of the health care system, but, in OECD countries, most expenditure goes to curative and rehabilitative care, and, within that, two of the most important functions are outpatient care, upon which 1.
- EndNote 1 International Diabetes Federation.
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Given these enormous expenses, the importance of any reliable evidence that can contribute to even a marginal improvement of health outcomes by a better allocation of resources across these two subsectors cannot be overstated. Such evidence can help policy makers to decide whether additional public resources are put to better use by being channelled toward expanding outpatient or inpatient care.
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In what follows, we first present the possible mechanisms of substitution and complementation and the empirical literature so far, then the Hungarian context, followed by the data, the methods, our results and, finally, our conclusions. Mechanisms of substitution and complementation What are the possible theoretical mechanisms of interaction between inpatient and outpatient care?
Fortney et al.
Mechanisms of substitution: Early detection of an illness in outpatient care can make treatment possible at that level and obviate the need for hospitalization. This substitution mechanism, they claim, could have both short-term e.
The closer the better: does better access to outpatient care prevent hospitalization?
The management of chronic health conditions in outpatient care e. Depending on the rules and incentives built into the health care system of the country in question, doctors in outpatient care could have a formal gate-keeping role, as well: in many cases, their referral can be required for hospitalization. Mechanisms of complementation: Treatment in outpatient care might call for supplemental or ancillary care provided in hospitals e.
The detection in outpatient care of illnesses e.
This mechanism could especially affect patients who have not used primary care services for a long period of time and who have a greater number of undetected illnesses. The identification through close monitoring of acute episodes of chronic illnesses that require specialty or inpatient treatment.
This mechanism is particularly relevant for disorders with symptoms that may fluctuate in severity over time e.
The empirical literature is rather mixed in terms of whether the substitution or the complementation effect dominates. Miller [ 15 ] analysing a Massachusetts reform a health insurance reform was introduced that differentially affected signs and symptoms of diabetes pdf costs of outpatient and inpatient care and Rubinstein et al.
Other papers also found substitution effects in cross-sectional settings [ 161019 ]. On the other hand, Kaestner and Sasso [ 11 ] found that, in the US, an increased outpatient spending was associated with more hospital admissions; the Rand and the Oregon health insurance experiments also showed that improving the availability of medical services through a more generous health insurance coverage was associated with an increase in the use of emergency room services and hospitalization [ 716 ].
A third group of studies found neither substitution nor complementation effects. Looking into the same Massachusetts reform as Miller [ 15 ], Kolstad and Kowalski [ 12 ] found that gaining insurance was associated with a decrease in hospital admissions through emergency department, an increase in hospital admissions through other channels, and no change in total hospitalizations. The instrumental variables analysis by Fortney et al. One promising method to try to sharpen the results in the empirical literature, exemplified by Duscheiko et al.
Institutional context In addition to being, in sum, rather inconclusive, many of these studies are also observational or signs and symptoms of diabetes pdf, making the establishment of causal relationships hard. In the case of papers based on a quasi-experimental or experimental setup, the source of variation that makes identification possible consists in changes in the financing insurance mechanism alone and almost all of them examine the US. Our source of variation túl magas different and our evidence comes from a very different, but, by no means, internationally unique institutional setting, shared by most post-communist EU member states e.
In such countries, our research question has never been addressed before. Hungary is a post-communist EU member state of slightly less than 10 million inhabitants with a single-payer health insurance and de facto universal coverage [ 5 ].
InHungary spent 7. The basic benefit package is free of out-of-pocket payments for the patients at the point of care including outpatient carealthough informal gratuity payments are widespread.
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Primary care by general practitioners is financed by capitation; most outpatient services are financed by the budget based on fee-for-service points, under a system that scores procedures on the basis of their complexity and resource requirements, whereas inpatient services, almost exclusively provided in state-run and -financed hospitals, are reimbursed through a combined payment system based on diagnosis-related groups acute care and per diem rates chronic care.
The relatively high share of outpatient care in provision and financing is due to the heritage of the Semashko-type healthcare system, common in countries once under Soviet dominance. Central to that model was a multi-tiered system of care with a strict referral signs and symptoms of diabetes pdf and strongly differentiated network of service providers, with outpatient specialist care, provided in dedicated polyclinics and thus separated from primary care, one of the distinct tiers of healthcare provision [ 913 ].
The health status of the Hungarian population is among the poorest in the EU with a life expectancy at birth of The intervention which we base our quasi-experimental specification on is the same as bean a szárnyat a cukorbetegség kezelésében in Elek et al.
Between andaroundpeople gained better access to specialist outpatient care in Hungary when the government created outpatient units in 20 rural micro-regions, which previously lacked capacity.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes pdf for the new units were selected based on the applications of municipalities, making a case for need and demand.
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Competition for scarce funds was not an issue: sufficient funds were allocated to be able to subsidize all likely applicants eligible under those rules. The newly created units all still in operation as of provide comprehensive service for the population of the micro-regions with at least 14 separate specialties at each location.
As a result, basic specialist outpatient care in the following four specialties: internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics—gynaecology, and pediatrics may now be reached by aroundmore people by car in 20 min than before. At the same time, the other parts of Hungary experienced relatively few changes in the management of outpatient care between and