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Financial Sustainability of the Japanese Medical Payment System: Analysis of the Japanese Medical Expenditure for Educational Hospitalization of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2015.78118    3,289 Downloads   3,761 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Japanese medical expenditures have increased rapidly in recent years and are predicted to continue rising. Indeed, it remains uncertain whether the current Japanese medical system can be sustained. In this paper, we analyzed the medical expenditures for educational hospitalization of patients with type 2 diabetes. A dataset of 6173 patients from 36 hospitals was used in the analysis. The sample period was from July 2008 to March 2012. We analyzed the medical expenditures in two ways. First, we analyzed the length of hospital stay (LOS). Next, we analyzed the daily expenditure per patient. The Box-Cox transformation model was used in the first analysis and the ordinary least squares method in the second. Comorbidities and complications prolonged LOS and increased daily expenditures. The LOS was significantly different among hospitals. On the other hand, the differences in daily expenditures among hospitals were relatively small, such that LOS was the main determinant of medical expenditures. Previous studies suggested that LOS could be shortened without degradation of medical quality. Moreover, LOS could be controlled by introducing proper critical paths and improving and standardizing educational programs. Hence, it would be possible to control the medical expenditures for this disease.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Nawata, K. and Kawabuchi, K. (2015) Financial Sustainability of the Japanese Medical Payment System: Analysis of the Japanese Medical Expenditure for Educational Hospitalization of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Health, 7, 1007-1021. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.78118.

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