Health Policy Manag.  2016 Dec;26(4):333-342. 10.4332/KJHPA.2016.26.4.333.

Analysis on the Determinants of Therapeutic Materials Expenditure in National Health Insurance

  • 1National Health Insurance Service, Wonju, Korea.


The use of therapeutic materials based on new health technology has increased in recent years in the field of medicine, raising concerns for medical practitioners regarding increased spending on the new therapeutic materials amid the rapid population ageing and increase of chronic diseases in Korea. While therapeutic materials have significant importance in the health care system, they have not been given appropriate attention in the academic world of Korea. The purpose
of this study is to identify factors that affect the growth of expenditure on therapeutic materials and to derive implications for an effective management considering the diversity of therapeutic materials.
Using the claims data of the National Health Insurance Services, specific utilization patterns of groups of therapeutic materials in the middle classification level of Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service from 2007 to 2014 were analyzed. Four categories (J5083: drug eluting coronary stent, D0302: nonmetallic anchor, K6014: gauze, K6023: gauze) that exhibit unique patterns with respect to price and volume were selected. Then, decomposition analysis was performed to identify the largest contributor to the spending growth by dividing the products into existing, new, and abandoned products for the period between 2010 and 2013.
The effect of new products had larger impact on spending growth than the effect of core items in drug eluting coronary stent (J5083) and nonmetallic anchor (D0302). In addition, existing products in general included items priced relatively lower when compared with another item manufactured by the same company. In the gauze category, however, existing products had the largest impact on expenditure and the effect of volume was greater than that in other categories.
This study provides evidence that appropriate management measures classified by the characteristics of therapeutic materials are required for therapeutic materials pricing and reassessment in Korea.


Therapeutic materials; Therapeutic materials spending determinants; Reassessment; Differential management
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