Editorial author unknown
The Korea Herald: Korea faces an urgent need to reform the state-run health insurance system as its sustainability is threatened by a rapid increase in health care spending. During the past 10 years, per-capita heath spending has grown at nearly 8 percent a year, about double the nation’s economic growth rate.
One factor driving up health care costs is the fee-for-service payment formula, under which the National Health Insurance Corp. reimburses hospitals for each and every service they provide to their patients.
Ostensibly, this reimbursement method sounds rational. But it has a serious drawback ― it encourages physicians to increase the amount of care per case to maximize revenue.
Physicians usually arrange frequent consultations with their patients, regardless of the severity of their illnesses, as the more frequently they see them, the more revenue they can generate.