Development of a health care policy characterisation model based on use of private health insurance
C D'Arcy J Holman and Rachael E Moorin
Australia and New Zealand Health Policy
Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a policy characterisation process based on measuring shifts in use of private health insurance (PHI) immediately following implementation of changes in federal health care policy. Method: Population-based hospital morbidity data from 1980 to 2001 were used to produce trend lines in the annual proportions of public, privately insured and privately uninsured hospital separations in age-stratified subgroups. A policy characterisation model was developed using visual and statistical assessment of the trend lines associated with changes in federal health care policy. Results: Of eight changes in federal health care policy, two (introduction of Medicare and Lifetime Health Cover) were directly associated with major changes in the trend lines; however, minor changes in trends were associated with several of the other federal policies. Three types of policy effects were characterised by our model: direction change, magnitude change and inhibition. Results from our model suggest that a policy of Lifetime Health Cover, with a sanction for late adoption of PHI, was immediately successful in changing the private: public mix. The desired effect of the 30% rebate was immediate only in the oldest age group (70+ years), however, introduction of the lifetime health cover and limitations in the model restricted the ability to determine whether or if the rebate had a delayed effect at younger ages. Conclusion: An outcome-based policy characterisation model is useful in evaluating immediate effects of changes in health care policy.
Full text doi:10.1071/HP050227
© CSIRO 2005