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Effects of a Dementia Screening Program on Healthcare Utilization in South Korea: A Difference-In-Difference Analysis

Authors
  • Lee, Su Jung
  • Seo, Hyun-Ju
  • Lee, Dong Young
  • Moon, So-Hyun
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Oct 11, 2019
Volume
16
Issue
20
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16203837
PMID: 31614513
PMCID: PMC6843614
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

To determine whether Seoul’s dementia screening program increased the rate of diagnosis and the appropriate use of healthcare services for people with dementia, a retrospective data analysis was conducted based on administrative data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Two cohorts were constructed to represent the year before Seoul’s dementia screening program began (2007) (control group) and the year after the implementation of the program (2009) (treatment group). A difference-in-difference analysis was used to compare the diagnosis rates, number of clinic visits, and dementia-related drug prescription rates for 4 districts that implemented dementia screening programs between 2007 and 2009 and 14 areas that did not. After the introduction of the program, there was a 55.4% increase in physician-diagnosed dementia. The “average drug cost per patient” increased by 52.2% (Exp( β ) = 1.522, p = 0.0264), the “average outpatient visits per patient” tended to increase by 13.5% (Exp( β ) = 1.135, p = 0.1852), and the “average outpatient treatment fees per visit per patient” tended to increase by 24.4% (Exp( β ) = 1.244, p = 0.0821). The implementation of dementia screening programs led to an increase in healthcare service utilization. Therefore, this program was found to be an effective strategy for reducing undiagnosed dementia cases and encouraging patients to use adequate healthcare services.

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