Degree of regional variation and effects of health insurance-related factors on the utilization of 24 diverse healthcare services - a cross-sectional study

Wei, Wenjia and Ulyte, Agne and Gruebner, Oliver and von Wyl, Viktor and Dressel, Holger and Brüngger, Beat and Blozik, Eva and Bähler, Caroline and Braun, Julia and Schwenkglenks, Matthias. (2020) Degree of regional variation and effects of health insurance-related factors on the utilization of 24 diverse healthcare services - a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Services Research, 20 (1). p. 1091.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/81609/

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Regional variation in healthcare utilization could reflect unequal access to care, which may lead to detrimental consequences to quality of care and costs. The aims of this study were to a) describe the degree of regional variation in utilization of 24 diverse healthcare services in eligible populations in Switzerland, and b) identify potential drivers, especially health insurance-related factors, and explore the consistency of their effects across the services.; We conducted a cross-sectional study using health insurance claims data for the year of 2014. The studied 24 healthcare services were predominantly outpatient services, ranging from screening to secondary prevention. For each service, a target population was identified based on applicable clinical recommendations, and outcome variable was the use of the service. Possible influencing factors included patients' socio-demographics, health insurance-related and clinical characteristics. For each service, we performed a comprehensive methodological approach including small area variation analysis, spatial autocorrelation analysis, and multilevel multivariable modelling using 106 mobilité spaciale regions as the higher level. We further calculated the median odds ratio in model residuals to assess the unexplained regional variation.; Unadjusted utilization rates varied considerably across the 24 healthcare services, ranging from 3.5% (osteoporosis screening) to 76.1% (recommended thyroid disease screening sequence). The effects of health insurance-related characteristics were mostly consistent. A higher annual deductible level was mostly associated with lower utilization. Supplementary insurance, supplementary hospital insurance and having chosen a managed care model were associated with higher utilization of most services. Managed care models showed a tendency towards more recommended care. After adjusting for multiple influencing factors, the unexplained regional variation was generally small across the 24 services, with all MORs below 1.5.; The observed utilization rates seemed suboptimal for many of the selected services. For all of them, the unexplained regional variation was relatively small. Our findings confirmed the importance and consistency of effects of health insurance-related factors, indicating that healthcare utilization might be further optimized through adjustment of insurance scheme designs. Our comprehensive approach aids in the identification of regional variation and influencing factors of healthcare services use in Switzerland as well as comparable settings worldwide.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Pharmazeutische Medizin ECPM > Pharmazeutische Medizin (Szucs)
UniBasel Contributors:Schwenkglenks, Matthias
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:12 Apr 2021 13:33
Deposited On:12 Apr 2021 13:33

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