Gender and Age Differences in Health Care Utilization and Spending Among the Older Adult Outpatient with Multimorbidity

Main Article Content

Ming-Jye Wang
Li-Chen Hung
Yi-Ting Lo

Keywords

multimorbidity, health care utilization, health care spending.

Abstract

Background and objective
An aging population and multimorbidity are our inevitable future. Multimorbidity is associated with increased healthcare utilization and costs. Little is known about sex- and age-specific healthcare uti-lization and spending change. A prospective cohort study and a better understanding of sex- and age-related issues and trends are needed so that necessary programs, resources allocation, and cost containment can be executed.
Material and methods
This study used data drawn from the National Health Insurance database of Taiwan and a person-based longitudinal analysis to investigate outpatients aged 55 years and older over a 10-year period.


Results
Among those with multimorbidity, the proportion of multimorbidity was higher for women than for men, especially in the 55–69 age group. There were sex and age differences in healthcare utilization/ spending: overall, women had more ambulatory visits than men, but men had a higher total claims amount than women. With regard to age-specific ambulatory visits, more women were in the 55–64 age group, and their total claims amount was not higher than that of men. Men had more ambulatory visits in the 65–79 age group, and their total claims amount was higher than that of women.


Conclusions
Healthcare utilization was greater among women than men, but men had higher healthcare spending than women. There were evidently differences among age groups. Strategies regarding public health policies and appropriate interventions are urgently needed, particularly for men. It is necessary to increase men’s health awareness and encourage health promotion incentives to reduce the consump-tion of medical resources.

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