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Am J Manag Care. 2012 Jan 1;18(1):e35-41.

Financial incentives and use of Cesarean delivery: Taiwan birth data 2003 to 2007.

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Department of Economics, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, City, Taiwan, ROC.



The Cesarean section (CS) rate in Taiwan has exceeded 30% since 2000. To lower the CS rate, the Bureau of National Health Insurance in Taiwan raised the payment for vaginal delivery (VD) in May 2005, and also increased the insured's copayment for elective CS in May 2006. This study clarifies the influences of these financial incentives, and explores whether the 2 policies lowered the CS rate.


The materials used are birth cases obtained from a systematic sampling of the original inpatient claim data in the National Health Insurance research database between 2003 and 2007. The empirical analysis of this study groups the birth data into 4 types: VD, unplanned CS, planned CS, and elective CS.


The 4 delivery types represent the dependent variable. A multinomial logistic regression model was adopted as the empirical method. The policy changes, hospital attributes, and insured status were considered independent variables.


Results indicate that the supply-side policy change in May 2005 reduced the number of CS cases. However, the policy effect was not very significant, and the CS rate decreased mainly because of planned CS cases. The demand-side policy change in May 2006 did not lower the rate of elective CS.


The results imply that the financial incentives were not the main consideration for both the demand and supply sides. To encourage more VDs and lower the CS rate, the authorities could consider mechanisms other than adjusting the payment or changing the copayment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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