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

1
College of Nursing, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
2
Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea
3
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul Metropolitan Center for Dementia, Seoul 03080, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203837
Received: 14 August 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: dementia; mass screening; difference in difference; policy analysis dementia; mass screening; difference in difference; policy analysis
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Lee, S.J.; Seo, H.-J.; Lee, D.Y.; Moon, S.-H. Effects of a Dementia Screening Program on Healthcare Utilization in South Korea: A Difference-In-Difference Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3837.

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