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Understanding the Non-medical Costs of Healthcare: Evidence from Inpatient Care for Older People in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2019

Wei Yang
King's College London. Email:
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Non-medical costs, including costs associated with carers, travel, food and accommodation for family members who care for older people during their medical visits, can constitute a substantial part of total healthcare costs, especially for older people. Using data from the 2015 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey, this study examines the effects of such non-medical costs on catastrophic health payments and health payment-induced poverty among older people in China. Results indicate that non-medical costs account for approximately 18 per cent of total inpatient costs. The percentage is highest for those in the lowest economic brackets. Rural populations are more likely than urban populations to incur catastrophic health payments and suffer from health payment-induced poverty. Non-medical costs increase the chances of older people incurring catastrophic health payments and suffering from health payment-induced poverty. These findings suggest that policymakers should look to develop new policies that facilitate reimbursement of non-medical costs, particularly for the rural population.



老年人在看病时发生的非医疗支出往往占据总医疗费用的很大一部分。这些非医疗支出包含高昂的雇佣护工发生的费用, 交通和食宿费用。本文利用中国健康养老追踪调查 2015 年的数据来分析接受住院医疗的老年人的非医疗支出对灾难性医疗支出和大病致贫的影响。本文发现非医疗支出占据 18% 的总医疗支出。而这个百分比在收入最低的老年人群中最高。农村老年人要比城市老年人更容易发生灾难性医疗支出和大病致贫。非医疗支出会增加发生灾难性医疗支出和大病致贫的概率。本文提议政府应考虑对非医疗支出进行一定补偿。

Research Article
Copyright © SOAS University of London 2019

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