© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Thailand has reformed its healthcare to ensure fairness and universality. Previous reports comparing the fairness among the 3 main healthcare schemes, including the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS), the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme (CSMBS) and the Social Health Insurance (SHI) have been published. They focused mainly on provision of medication for cancers and human immunodeficiency virus infection. Since chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have a high rate of hospitalization and high risk of death, they also require special care and need more than access to medicine. We, therefore, performed a 1-year, nationwide, evaluation on the clinical outcomes (i.e., mortality rates and complication rates) and treatment costs for hospitalized CKD patients across the 3 main health insurance schemes. Methods: All adult in-patient CKD medical expense forms in fiscal 2010 were analyzed. The outcomes focused on were clinical outcomes, access to special care and equipment (especially dialysis), and expenses on CKD patients. Factors influencing mortality rates were evaluated by multiple logistic regression. Results: There were 128,338 CKD patients, accounting for 236,439 admissions. The CSMBS group was older on average, had the most severe co-morbidities, and had the highest hospital charges, while the UCS group had the highest rate of complications. The mortality rates differed among the 3 insurance schemes; the crude odds ratio (OR) for mortality was highest in the CSMBS scheme. After adjustment for biological, economic, and geographic variables, the UCS group had the highest risk of in-hospital death (OR 1.13;95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.07-1.20; p < 0.001) while the SHI group had lowest mortality (OR 0.87; 95 % CI 0.76-0.99; p = 0.038). The circumscribed healthcare benefits and limited access to specialists and dialysis care in the UCS may account for less favorable comparison with the CSMBS and SHI groups. Conclusions: Significant differences are observed in mortality rates among CKD patients from among the 3 main healthcare schemes. Improvements in equity of care might minimize the differences.
Anutrakulchai, S., Mairiang, P., Pongskul, C., Thepsuthammarat, K., Chan-On, C., & Thinkhamrop, B. (2016). Mortality and treatment costs of hospitalized chronic kidney disease patients between the three major health insurance schemes in Thailand. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1792-9