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Effects of Cost Sharing on Care Seeking and Health Status: Results From the Medical Outcomes Study

Effects of Cost Sharing on Care Seeking and Health Status: Results From the Medical Outcomes Study Objectives. This study sought to determine the effect of cost sharing on medical care use for acute symptoms and on health status among chronically ill adults. Methods. Data from the Medical Outcomes Study were used to compare (1) rates of physician care use for minor and serious symptoms and (2) 6- and 12-month follow-up physical and mental health status among individuals at different levels of cost sharing. Results. In comparison with a no-copay group, the low- and high-copay groups were less likely to have sought care for minor symptoms, but only the high-copay group had a lower rate of seeking care for serious symptoms. Follow-up physical and mental health status scores were similar among the 3 copay groups. Conclusions. In a chronically ill population, cost sharing reduced the use of care for both minor and serious symptoms. Although no differences in self-reported health status were observed, health plans featuring cost sharing need careful monitoring for potential adverse health effects because of their propensity to reduce use of care that is considered necessary and appropriate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Public Health American Public Health Association

Effects of Cost Sharing on Care Seeking and Health Status: Results From the Medical Outcomes Study

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Publisher
American Public Health Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by the American Public Health Association
ISSN
0090-0036
eISSN
1541-0048
DOI
10.2105/AJPH.91.11.1889
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives. This study sought to determine the effect of cost sharing on medical care use for acute symptoms and on health status among chronically ill adults. Methods. Data from the Medical Outcomes Study were used to compare (1) rates of physician care use for minor and serious symptoms and (2) 6- and 12-month follow-up physical and mental health status among individuals at different levels of cost sharing. Results. In comparison with a no-copay group, the low- and high-copay groups were less likely to have sought care for minor symptoms, but only the high-copay group had a lower rate of seeking care for serious symptoms. Follow-up physical and mental health status scores were similar among the 3 copay groups. Conclusions. In a chronically ill population, cost sharing reduced the use of care for both minor and serious symptoms. Although no differences in self-reported health status were observed, health plans featuring cost sharing need careful monitoring for potential adverse health effects because of their propensity to reduce use of care that is considered necessary and appropriate.

Journal

American Journal of Public HealthAmerican Public Health Association

Published: Nov 1, 2001

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