Publicatie datum

Health care utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure of type 2 diabetic patients: a study in primary care in Bhubaneswar, India.

Pati, S., Swain, S., Akker, M. van den, Schellevis, F.G., Burgers, J.S. Health care utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure of type 2 diabetic patients: a study in primary care in Bhubaneswar, India. Journal of Familiy Medicine and Primary Care: 2022, 11, p. 6714-6725.
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Globally, noncommunicable diseases (NCD) demand a higher healthcare expenditure. Among NCDs, diabetes mellitus is often associated with multiple, co-existing chronic conditions. In low- and middle-income countries where most of the healthcare expenditure is borne out of pocket, diabetes management may pose a significant financial stress.

A cross-sectional study was conducted in 17 urban primary healthcare facilities of Bhubaneswar to assess the healthcare utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure among type 2 diabetes patients attending these facilities. Healthcare utilization was determined by the number of visits to healthcare facilities in the last 6 months, and out-of-pocket expenditure was assessed by outpatient consultation fees, medicines, travels to health care facilities, and diagnostic tests. Total out-of-pocket expenditure was defined as the sum of these costs.

The median number of visits in 6 months for diabetes patients with any comorbidity was 4 and 5 for diabetes patients with more than 4 comorbidities. Among the comorbid conditions, depression, stroke, auditory impairment, and acid peptic disease were associated with higher healthcare utilization. The total out-of-pocket expense was 2.3 times higher among diabetes patients with any comorbid condition compared to patients with diabetes only. The total median expenditure was higher for diabetes patients having stroke, heart diseases, kidney diseases, and cancer compared with other comorbid conditions. The association of comorbidity in diabetes patients with health care utilization and out-of-pocket expenditure is statistically significant after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and diabetes duration.

Considerable expenditure is incurred by diabetes patients attending primary healthcare facilities for the management of diabetes and other chronic conditions. This is a significant burden for diabetes patients below the poverty line and with limited or no insurance cover. There is a need to increase the coverage of insurance schemes to address the chronic conditions management expenditure of outpatients.