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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2013 Dec;43(12):1233-7. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyt147. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

A newly introduced comprehensive consultation fee in the national health insurance system in Japan: a promotive effect of multidisciplinary medical care in the field of radiation oncology--results from a questionnaire survey.

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*Department of Radiology, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.



The consultation fee for outpatient radiotherapy was newly introduced in the national health insurance system in Japan in April 2012. We conducted a survey on the use of this consultation fee and its effect on clinical practices.


The health insurance committee of the Japanese Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology conducted a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire form was mailed to 160 councilors of the Society, the target questionees. A total of 94 answers (58% of the target questionees) sent back were used for analyses.


The analyses revealed that 75% of the hospitals charged most of the patients who receive radiotherapy in an outpatient setting a consultation fee. The introduction of the consultation fee led to some changes in radiation oncology clinics, as evidenced by the response of 'more careful observations by medical staff' in 37% of questionees and a 12% increase in the number of full-time radiation oncology nurses. It was also shown that the vast majority (92%) of radiation oncologists expected a positive influence of the consultation fee on radiation oncology clinics in Japan.


Our questionnaire survey revealed the present status of the use of a newly introduced consultation fee for outpatient radiotherapy, and the results suggested its possible effect on promoting a multidisciplinary medical care system in radiation oncology departments in Japan.


consultation fee; multidisciplinary medical care; outpatient radiotherapy; questionnaire survey

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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