Objective: To investigate the long-term trend of disparity of monthly average out-of-pocket inpatient expenditures (OOP) between areas with different developing levels since the new healthcare reform.
Methods: Time series regression was used to assess the trend of disparities of OOP and monthly average inpatient expenditures (AIE) between areas with different developing levels in rural Shaanxi Province, western China. The data of OOP and AIE in primary health institutions, secondary hospitals, tertiary hospitals and also all levels of the hospital were analysed separately covering the period 2011 through to 2014.
Results: The disparity of AIE at all levels of hospitals was increasing (coefficient = 0.003, P = 0.029), and only the disparity of AIE in secondary hospitals was statistical significant (coefficient = 0.003, P = 0.012) when separately considering different levels of the hospital. The disparity of OOP in all levels of the hospital was increasing (coefficient = 0.007, P = 0.001), and the OOP in primary hospitals contributed most of the disparity (coefficient = 0.019, P = 0.000), followed by OOP in secondary (coefficient = 0.008, P = 0.003) and tertiary hospitals (coefficient = 0.004, P = 0.091).
Conclusions: A statistically significant absolute increase in the trend of disparities of OOP and AIE at all levels of hospital was detected after the new healthcare reform in Shaanxi Province, western China. The increase rate of disparity of OOP was bigger than that of AIE. A modified health insurance plan should be proposed to guarantee equity in the future.
Keywords: assurance maladie; disparity; disparité; dépenses directes de la poche; dépenses pour patients hospitalisés; health insurance; inpatient expenditure; out-of-pocket expenditures.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.