Biomedical Research

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Ethnicity differences in the hospital costs, disease constitution and hospital characteristics for patients in Northwest China

This study aimed to analyze ethnicity differences in the hospitalization services utilization in the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS). The data was taken from the NCMS office of Touying town, Guyuan County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Among 2,362 patients admitted to the hospitals, 1,037 (43.9%) were of Hui ethnicity and 1,325 (56.1%) were of Han ethnicity. Approximately one-half were female in both groups. The mean age was 36 y for the Hui versus 44 y in the Han group. Non- Provincial Hospitals (NPH) admitted the largest proportion of patients in both groups, at 93 and 91%, respectively, for the Hui and Han. Overall mean cost of hospitalization was 4,624 RMB per patient, Out- Of-Pocket payment (OOP) was 2,615 RMB, 46% cost was reimbursed. In Provincial Hospitals (PH), the median hospital costs were 6,141 RMB for Hui and 9,750 RMB for Han. The median reimbursement rate in PH and NPH was 35% and 52%, respectively. In the 5-14 y age groups, Hui had a much larger proportion of injury causes than Han group. Our findings demonstrate ethnicity differences in the hospitalization services utilization in the NCMS and provide the guide for the development of preventive health care service in the minority areas.

Author(s): Haiyan Wu, Ningxiu Li