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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1984;17(1): 37-46.
Medical Care Utilization Pattern of Medical Aid Program Beneficiaries.
Ju Ho Kim
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, Korea.
The study was conducted to identify the problems in the medical aid program by reviewing the medical care utilization pattern of the beneficiaries. The data were abstracted from the monthly bills and vouchers for medical care of the whole beneficiaries(17,527) in Gyeongsan Gun submitted by the physicians to county government for the period of 1 calendar year from October 1981 to September 1982. The number of medical aid beneficiary accounted for 12.7% of the total county population, a higher proportion than the national average-9.5%. Monthly primary care utilization rate per 100 beneficiaries was 9.3 persons with 14.0 visits and 42.9 medication days. For the 2nd and 3rd care, there were 1.7 admissions and 9.3 OPD visits per 100 beneficiaries per year. The beneficiaries of the first class medical aid program had a higher utilization rate of both the primary and secondary/tertiary care facilities. Females utilized more the primary care facilities than males while males utilized more the secondary/tertiary care facilities than females. A significantly lower utilization rate was observed in January than in the other months and this was seemed due to the renewal process of the medical aid certificate. Among 1,931 patients utilized the 2nd/3rd care facilities 84.4% was out-patients and the lowest ratios were in the minor specialties including ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology and urology. The average hospital days per in-patient were 21.2 days and OPD days per out patient were 4.7 days. The average hospital days for a psychiatry in-patient was 74.4 days which was the longest average hospital days among all the specialties. Average medical care cost per beneficiary in a year was W9,821:W24,420 for the 1st class and W7,464 for the 2nd class. The medical care cost for the primary care per patient was W3,901 and W840 per day compared with W49,875 per patient and W5,822 per day for the secondary/tertiary care. From the findings of this study following recommendations were made to improve the medical care program: 1) The renewal process of the medical care certificate should be expedited. 2) Minor specialty clinics should be designated as the primary medical care facility for the medical aid program to reduce the expenses by absorbing more patients referred to the secondary/tertiary care facilities directly. 3) The medical care cost for the primary care facility should be escalated to reduce the differential between the primary and secondary/tertiary care facilities.
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