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Open AccessArticle

Horizontal Inequity in Health Care Utilization among the Middle-Aged and Elderly in China

1
School of Health Care Management, Key Laboratory of Health Economics and Policy Research, NHFPC, Shandong University, No. 44 Wenhua Road, Jinan 250012, China
2
School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080842
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
Background: Equitable utilization of health care is a primary goal of the Chinese health system. This study aimed to examine horizontal inequity in health care utilization and identify the factors resulting in inequity among the middle-aged and elderly in China. Methods: The data were obtained from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). We employed the concentration index (CI) and horizontal inequity (HI) to measure inequity in health care utilization. Non-linear regression models were used to decompose the CI into the contribution of each factor. Results: The CIs for the probability of and total number of outpatient visits were 0.0642 and 0.0780, respectively, and those for inpatient visits were 0.1418 and 0.1471, respectively. The HIs were also significantly positive. Living standard was the most important contributor. The contribution of health insurance varied between plans. Conclusions: This study supported the presence of pro-rich inequity in health care utilization for both probability and frequency among the middle-aged and elderly in China. Narrowing the living standard gap and improving the health insurance benefit package for the elderly should help to resolve these inequities. View Full-Text
Keywords: horizontal inequity; health care utilization; middle-aged and elderly; China horizontal inequity; health care utilization; middle-aged and elderly; China
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Li, C.; Dou, L.; Wang, H.; Jing, S.; Yin, A. Horizontal Inequity in Health Care Utilization among the Middle-Aged and Elderly in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 842.

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