Financial access of pensioners to emergency onco-hematological services after the implementation of the DRG model
Keywords:access to medical services, pensioners, onco-hematological services, diagnosis-related groups (DRG) financing model
Introduction: the most important task of the healthcare system of any state is to increase financial access to medical services for the population. In 2022, a diagnosis-related groups (DRG) financing model for planned and emergency inpatient services was launched in Georgia, the main task of which is to improve access to medical services and the quality of services. Despite the implementation of the DRG model, hematological oncology patients, including those of retirement age, have to pay a certain fee for services that were previously provided free of charge. The aim of the paper is to assess the financial access of pensioners to urgent onco-hematological services after the introduction of the DRG method. Methodology: Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. Results: The study showed that the majority of patients of retirement age (78%) had to pay 235 GEL after leaving the hospital. However, it should be taken into account that the majority of patients (64%) are not financially independent. Consequently, the majority of respondents (79%) faced financial difficulties due to payment for urgent oncology-hematological services. According to the majority of respondents (80%), after the introduction of the DRG model, the financial availability of the onco-hematological inpatient services they received decreased. Discussion, recommendations: after the introduction of the model of groups struggling with the diagnosis, the upper limit of co-payment for onco-hematological services is a rather large amount for people of retirement age, which reduces financial availability. It is advisable to review the co-payments imposed on these services.
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