Impact of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme on the trend of catastrophic health expenditure in Chinese rural households: results from nationally representative surveys from 2003 to 2013

Zhiqiang Wang, Yang Peng (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the trend of catastrophic health expenses (CHE) for inpatient care in relation to the commencement of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) in rural China from 2003 to 2013, and the roles of NCMS in protecting affected households from CHE.

Methods: We assessed the 10-year trend of the incidence and severity of CHE in rural households with hospitalised members using data from the Chinese National Health Services Survey. Generalised estimating equations were used to estimate the OR and 95% CI of the association between incidence rates of CHE (Embedded Image ) and NCMS reimbursement.
Results: The incidence and severity of CHE after NCMS reimbursement both decreased and their changes increased rapidly from 2003 to 2013. After adjustment of the covariates, Embedded Image before reimbursement was significantly higher than that after reimbursement, and the OR (95% CI) was 1.50 (1.24 to 1.81), 1.79 (1.69 to 1.90) and 2.94 (2.77 to 3.11) in 2003, 2008 and 2013, respectively.

Conclusion: The incidence and severity of CHE both reduced after NCMS reimbursements in each year. Excluding some confounding factors, Embedded Image was significantly associated with NCMS reimbursement. NCMS partly protected the rural households with hospitalised members from CHE. However, the inequalities between different income groups still existed. Embedded Image in rural households with hospitalised members was still rather high in 2003, 2008 and 2013 even though they were covered by NCMS. This study will provide suggestions for further reforms in China and guidance for other low-income/middle-income countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019442
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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