China has the largest number of diabetic patients in the world. The total number of adults with diabetes in mainland China is estimated to be 140.9 million, with an estimated 174.4 million in 2045 and an adult prevalence of 13.0 %. In 2021, diabetes-related health costs in China are as high as $165.3 billion, and the prevalence of diabetes in China continues to grow. If patients have access to timely and effective ambulatory care, it is possible to reduce hospitalizations for these conditions by preventing the occurrence of diseases or managing chronic conditions in an outpatient setting.
To evaluate the policy effect of replacing hospitalization service with outpatient service and reducing diabetes-related avoidable hospitalizations by improving outpatient benefits package.
A database of hospital discharge from 2015 to 2017 in City Z was used. All diabetic inpatient cases enrolled in Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance were selected as the intervention group, and diabetic inpatient cases enrolled in Urban and Rural Resident Basic Medical Insurance were selected as the control group. The Difference-in-Difference model was used to analyze the effect of improving outpatient benefits package level of diabetes from 1800 yuan (about $252.82) to 2400 yuan (about $337.09) per capita per year on avoidable hospitalization rate, average hospitalization cost and average length of stay.
The avoidable hospitalization rate of diabetes mellitus decreased by 0.21 percentage points (P < 0.01), the average total cost of hospitalization increased by 7.89% (P < 0.01), and the average length of stay per hospitalization increased by 5.63% (P < 0.01).
Improving the outpatient benefits package of diabetes can play a role in replacing hospitalization service with outpatient service, reducing diabetes-related avoidable hospitalizations, and reducing the disease burden and financial burden.
- Liu, Hao-Ran, Si-Yuan Chen, Lan-Yue Zhang, Hong-Qiao Fu, and Wei-Yan Jian. 2023. “Expanding outpatient benefits package can reduce diabetes-related avoidable hospitalizations.” Frontiers in Public Health 11. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.964789