Extent and structure of health insurance expenditures for complementary and alternative medicine in Swiss primary care

Busato, Andre; Eichenberger, Reiner; Künzi, Beat (2006). Extent and structure of health insurance expenditures for complementary and alternative medicine in Swiss primary care. BMC health services research, 6, p. 132. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1472-6963-6-132

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BACKGROUND: The study is part of a nationwide evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in primary care in Switzerland. The goal was to evaluate the extent and structure of basic health insurance expenditures for complementary and alternative medicine in Swiss primary care. METHODS: The study was designed as a cross-sectional evaluation of Swiss primary care providers and included 262 certified CAM physicians, 151 noncertified CAM physicians and 172 conventional physicians. The study was based on data from a mailed questionnaire and on reimbursement information obtained from health insurers. It was therefore purely observational, without interference into diagnostic and therapeutic procedures applied or prescribed by physicians. Main outcome measures included average reimbursed costs per patient, structured into consultation- and medication-related costs, and referred costs. RESULTS: Total average reimbursed cost per patient did not differ between CAM physicians and conventional practitioners, but considerable differences were observed in cost structure. The proportions of reimbursed costs for consultation time were 56% for certified CAM, 41% for noncertified CAM physicians and 40% for conventional physicians; medication costs--including expenditures for prescriptions and directly dispensed drugs--respectively accounted for 35%, 18%, and 51% of costs. CONCLUSION: The results indicate no significant difference for overall treatment cost per patient between CAM and COM primary care in Switzerland. However, CAM physicians treat lower numbers of patients and a more cost-favourable patient population than conventional physicians. Differences in cost structure reflect more patient-centred and individualized treatment modalities of CAM physicians.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Busato, André

ISSN:

1472-6963

ISBN:

17032465

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:48

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2014 18:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1472-6963-6-132

PubMed ID:

17032465

Web of Science ID:

000241513700001

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.20010

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/20010 (FactScience: 3090)

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