Regional catastrophic health expenditure and health inequality in China.

Wang, Xinyue, Guo, Yan, Qin, Yang, Nicholas, Stephen, Maitland, Elizabeth ORCID: 0000-0003-1551-4787 and Liu, Cai
(2023) Regional catastrophic health expenditure and health inequality in China. Frontiers in public health, 11. 1193945-.

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<h4>Background</h4>Catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) can trigger illness-caused poverty and compound poverty-caused illness. Our study is the first regional comparative study to analyze CHE trends and health inequality in eastern, central and western China, exploring the differences and disparities across regions to make targeted health policy recommendations.<h4>Methods</h4>Using data from China's Household Panel Study (CFPS), we selected Shanghai, Henan and Gansu as representative eastern-central-western regional provinces to construct a unique 5-year CHE unbalanced panel dataset. CHE incidence was measured by calculating headcount; CHE intensity was measured by overshoot and CHE inequality was estimated by concentration curves (CC) and the concentration index (CI). A random effect model was employed to analyze the impact of household head socio-economic characteristics, the household socio-economic characteristics and household health utilization on CHE incidence across the three regions.<h4>Results</h4>The study found that the incidence and intensity of CHE decreased, but the degree of CHE inequality increased, across all three regions. For all regions, the trend of inequality first decreased and then increased. We also revealed significant differences across the eastern, central and western regions of China in CHE incidence, intensity, inequality and regional differences in the CHE influencing factors. Affected by factors such as the gap between the rich and the poor and the uneven distribution of medical resources, families in the eastern region who were unmarried, use supplementary medical insurance, and had members receiving outpatient treatment were more likely to experience CHE. Families with chronic diseases in the central and western regions were more likely to suffer CHE, and rural families in the western region were more likely to experience CHE.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The trends and causes of CHE varied across the different regions, which requires a further tilt of medical resources to the central and western regions; improved prevention and financial support for chronic diseases households; and reform of the insurance reimbursement policy of outpatient medical insurance. On a regional basis, health policy should not only address CHE incidence and intensity, but also its inequality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Catastrophic Illness, Chronic Disease, Health Expenditures, Insurance, Health, China, Health Status Disparities
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2023 16:27
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 16:27
DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1193945
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