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An empirical analysis of reduction of medical expenditures by the eHealth system: Further results

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3 Author(s)
Yuji Akematsu ; Graduate School of Applied Informatics, University of Hyogo, Japan ; Masatsugu Tsuji ; Fumio Taoka

This paper aims to examine reduction of medical expenditures by utilizing the system of Nishi-aizu Town, Fuikushima Prefecture. The town office has been implementing it since 1994 and keeps receipts on medical expenditures of its approximately 4,000 residents paid by National Health Insurance for 5 years from 2002 to 2006. We select (i) users; and (ii) non-users of the eHealth system, and by comparing their medical expenditures, we examine: (i) difference in medical expenditures between two groups; and (ii) negative correlation between medical expenditures and the length of usage of the eHealth system. We find that total medical expenditures of users are larger than those of non-users, whereas by restricting to lifestyle-related illnesses such as high blood pressure, cerebral infarction, strokes, and diabetes, medical expenditures of users are found to be smaller than those of non-users. Userspsila average annual expenditures per person related to lifestyle-related illnesses is smaller than that of non-users by 15,302 yen (US$133.06), which is about 20.7% of average expenditures of non-users. If users utilize the system one more year, then the above expenditures would decrease about 13,719 yen (US$119.30) per year, which is about 18.7% of the average expenditures. In addition, we show (iii) the elasticity of reduction of medical expenditures with respect to the length of utilizing the system increases according to years of its use, and also verify (iv) medical expenditures of those who have diseases would be reduced larger than that of people who do not have disease. Finally, we calculate (v) exact amount reimbursement from the National Medical Insurance to this system.

Published in:

e-health Networking, Applications and Services, 2008. HealthCom 2008. 10th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-9 July 2008