Health

Volume 12, Issue 9 (September 2020)

ISSN Print: 1949-4998   ISSN Online: 1949-5005

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.87  Citations  

Regional Differences in Specific Health Examination Utilization and Medical Care Expenditures in Japan

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2020.129084    142 Downloads   436 Views  
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ABSTRACT

Background: Despite having one of the most successful health systems in the world, annual medical expenditures in Japan have been increasing year to year. We sought to clarify regional differences in medical expenditures by analyzing the relationship between the specific health examination coverage and medical care expenditure by prefecture of Japan. Methods: We used data from the National Database of Health Insurance Claims and Specific Health Checkups (NDB) Open Data Japan (2015) and Overview of 2015 National Medical Expenses to compare medical care expenditure per capita and proportions of persons receiving specific health examination between Japan nationally and individual prefectures. Results: National medical expenditures were 42.3 trillion Japanese yen (JPY) (3851 hundred million dollars), with a national per capita rate of JPY347,219 (USD3156). Per capita medical expenditure rates by prefecture ranged from JPY290,900 (USD2645) in Saitama Prefecture to JPY 444,000 (USD4036) in Kochi Prefecture. The proportion of persons receiving specific health examinations was 49.0% for Japan overall and ranged from 39.3% in Hokkaido Prefecture to 63.4% in Tokyo Prefecture. We observed a significant negative correlation between per capita medical expenditures and the proportion of persons receiving specific health examinations (R = 0.553, p < 0.001). Conclusion: We found a significant negative correlation between per capita medical expenditures and the proportion of persons receiving health examinations: prefectures with lower expenditures tended to have higher rates of medical examinations. Interventions to increase the proportion of persons receiving specific health examinations by prefecture could reduce per capita medical expenditures and reduce prefectural disparities in expenditures.

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Mandai, N. and Watanabe, M. (2020) Regional Differences in Specific Health Examination Utilization and Medical Care Expenditures in Japan. Health, 12, 1143-1150. doi: 10.4236/health.2020.129084.

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