Does government subsidy for costs of medical and pharmaceutical services result in higher service utilisation by older widowed women in Australia?

Tooth, Leigh R., Hockey, Richard, Treloar, Susan, McClintock, Christine and Dobson, Annette (2012) Does government subsidy for costs of medical and pharmaceutical services result in higher service utilisation by older widowed women in Australia?. BMC Health Services Research, 12 1: 179.1-179.7. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-179

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Author Tooth, Leigh R.
Hockey, Richard
Treloar, Susan
McClintock, Christine
Dobson, Annette
Title Does government subsidy for costs of medical and pharmaceutical services result in higher service utilisation by older widowed women in Australia?
Journal name BMC Health Services Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6963
Publication date 2012-07-31
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-12-179
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 179.1
End page 179.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 2719 Health Policy
Abstract Background: In Australia, Medicare, the national health insurance system which includes the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), provides partial coverage for most medical services and pharmaceuticals. For war widows, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) covers almost the entire cost of their health care. The objective of this study was to test whether war widows have higher usage of medical services and pharmaceuticals.
Formatted abstract
Background: In Australia, Medicare, the national health insurance system which includes the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), provides partial coverage for most medical services and pharmaceuticals. For war widows, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) covers almost the entire cost of their health care. The objective of this study was to test whether war widows have higher usage of medical services and pharmaceuticals.

Methods: Data were from 730 women aged 70–84 years (mostly World War II widows) participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health who consented to data linkage to Medicare Australia. The main outcome measures were PBS costs, claims, co-payments and scripts presented, and MBS total costs, claims and gap payments for medical services in 2005.

Results: There was no difference between the war widows and similarly aged widows in the Australian population without DVA support on use of medical services. While war widows had more pharmaceutical prescriptions filled they generated equivalent total costs, number of claims and co-payments for pharmaceuticals than widows without DVA support.

Conclusions: Older war widows are not using more medical services and pharmaceuticals than other older Australian women despite having financial incentives to do so.
Keyword Medical benefits scheme
Medicare
Pharmaceutical benefits scheme
MBS
PBS
Health care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 0801
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article 179

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
Centre for Military and Veterans' Health Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 20 Sep 2012, 21:20:38 EST by Dr Leigh Tooth on behalf of School of Public Health