The impact of the stateless health insurance scheme on inpatient service utilization of stateless children at the four selected district hospitals in Tak Province, Thailand.

Research paper by Proloy P Barua, Kanida K Narattharaksa

Indexed on: 24 May '21Published on: 12 Nov '19Published in: The International Journal of Health Planning and Management


The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the stateless insurance scheme on inpatient service utilization of stateless patients in comparison to the universal coverage scheme (UCS) insurees and the uninsured. The retrospective study used the routinely collected health data (eg, 43-file database) from January 1,2013, to December 31,2017. The study took a sample of 9528 child patients aged 0to 18years who had an inpatient (IP)admission at the four selected district hospitals in Tak Province. The outcome variable was IP utilization rate (admissions/person/year), while the exposure was the three-insurance status: uninsured, stateless, and UCS. With the counted outcome data, the researchers applied the Poisson regression, taking confounders into account, to measure the effect of exposure on outcome. The overall median IP utilization rate was one admissions/person/year. Compared with the uninsured group, the stateless and the UCS insurees had 98% (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=1.980, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.250, 2.710) and 67% (IRR=1.670, 95% CI = 0.949, 2.390) higher IP admissions, respectively. The younger stateless insurees (2-3 years) had 16% (IRR=0.837, 95% CI=-0.036, 1.710) fewer admissions while oldest stateless insurees had 6% (IRR = 1.060, 95% CI = 0.235, 1.880) more admissions compared withtheir youngest uninsured counterpart (0-1 year). Stateless females had 21% (IRR=0.789, 95% CI = 0.344, 1.230) fewer IP admissions compared with their uninsured males counterparts. Overall IP utilization rate increased from 4% (IRR=1.040, 95% CI = 0.981,1.090) in 2014 to 14% (IRR=1.140, 95% CI = 1.070, 1.210) in 2017 compared with IP utilization in 2013. The study suggests that inpatient utilization rate differs by insurance status with statistical significance. Further experimental studies are needed to understand the causal effect of the stateless insurance on adverse health outcomes in stateless children in the country. IP care and adverse health outcomes for stateless children in the country. © 2019 John Wiley& Sons, Ltd.