EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Rural–urban disparities in the utilization of mental health inpatient services in China: the role of health insurance

Junfang Xu, Jian Wang (), Madeleine King, Ruiyun Liu, Fenghua Yu, Jinshui Xing, Lei Su and Mingshan Lu
Additional contact information
Junfang Xu: Tsinghua University
Jian Wang: Shandong University
Madeleine King: Tsinghua University
Ruiyun Liu: Shandong Center for Mental Health
Fenghua Yu: Shandong Health and Family Planning Commission
Jinshui Xing: Shandong Center for Mental Health
Lei Su: Shandong Center for Mental Health
Mingshan Lu: University of Calgary

International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 2018, vol. 18, issue 4, No 2, 377-393

Abstract: Abstract Reducing rural–urban disparities in health and health care has been a key policy goal for the Chinese government. With mental health becoming an increasingly significant public health issue in China, empirical evidence of disparities in the use of mental health services can guide steps to reduce them. We conducted this study to inform China’s on-going health-care reform through examining how health insurance might reduce rural–urban disparities in the utilization of mental health inpatient services in China. This retrospective study used 10 years (2005–2014) of hospital electronic health records from the Shandong Center for Mental Health and the DaiZhuang Psychiatric Hospital, two major psychiatric hospitals in Shandong Province. Health insurance was measured using types of health insurance and the actual reimbursement ratio (RR). Utilization of mental health inpatient services was measured by hospitalization cost, length of stay (LOS), and frequency of hospitalization. We examined rural–urban disparities in the use of mental health services, as well as the role of health insurance in reducing such disparities. Hospitalization costs, LOS, and frequency of hospitalization were all found to be lower among rural than among urban inpatients. Having health insurance and benefiting from a relatively high RR were found to be significantly associated with a greater utilization of inpatient services, among both urban and rural residents. In addition, an increase in the RR was found to be significantly associated with an increase in the use of mental health services among rural patients. Consistent with the existing literature, our study suggests that increasing insurance schemes’ reimbursement levels could lead to substantial increases in the use of mental health inpatient services among rural patients, and a reduction in rural–urban disparities in service utilization. In order to promote mental health care and reduce rural–urban disparities in its utilization in China, improving rural health insurance coverage (e.g., reducing the coinsurance rate) would be a powerful policy instrument.

JEL-codes: D12 H55 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10754-018-9238-z Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:18:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10754-018-9238-z

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... th/journal/10754/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10754-018-9238-z

Access Statistics for this article

International Journal of Health Economics and Management is currently edited by Leemore Dafny, Robert Town, Mark Pauly, David Dranove and Pedro Pita Barros

More articles in International Journal of Health Economics and Management from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

 
Page updated 2021-01-30
Handle: RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:18:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10754-018-9238-z