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Open AccessArticle

Primary Care Patients’ Preference for Hospitals over Clinics in Korea

1
Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
2
Regional Emergency Care Center, Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
3
Department of Nursing Science, Shinsung University, Dangjin 31801, Korea
4
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
5
Public Health Medical Service, Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 20 Boramae-ro 5-gil, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 07061, Korea
6
Department of Preventive Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon 35015, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061119
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
Korea is in a unique condition to observe whether patients, when equal access to the levels of health care facilities is guaranteed by the support of the national health insurance, choose the appropriate levels of health care facilities. This study was performed to investigate the primary care patients’ preference for hospitals over clinics under no restriction for their choice. We used the 2011 National Inpatient Sample database of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service in Korea. A primary care patient was defined as a patient who visited as an outpatient in health care facilities with one of the 52 minor conditions defined by the Korean government. We found that approximately 15% of outpatient visits of the patients who were eligible for primary care in Korea happened in hospitals. In terms of cost, the outpatient visits in hospitals accounted for about 29% of total cost of outpatient visits. This arbitrary access to hospitals can lead to an inefficient use of health care resources. In order to ensure that health care facilities are stratified in terms of access as well as size and function, interventions to distribute patients to the appropriate level of care are required. View Full-Text
Keywords: primary care; health care facilities; access; preference; hospitals; clinics; Korea primary care; health care facilities; access; preference; hospitals; clinics; Korea
MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, A.M.; Cho, S.; Kim, H.J.; Jung, H.; Jo, M.-W.; Lee, J.Y.; Eun, S.J. Primary Care Patients’ Preference for Hospitals over Clinics in Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1119.

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