Identification of the Healthcare Services with Potential Induced Demand

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, School of Pharmacy, Students’ Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Healthcare Management, Health Management and Economic Research Center, Faculty of Management and Medical Informatics, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Healthcare Management, Social Determinate of Health Research Center, Faculty of Management and Medical Informatics, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Health Policy, Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Physiotherapy, Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Induced demand in healthcare is referred to as provision of unnecessary services or the patient by health services providers, while the patient is not aware of their unnecessity. Apart from being unethical, this practice can potentially disturb the supply and demand balance in the health market, pose financial load on the patient, thread the patient’s health by imposing possible side-effects, and lead to waste of the limited national health resources. This study, thus, was aimed at investigating the nature of the phenomenon in Iran, as perceived by the healthcare experts.   Methods: A qualitative research design was adopted. Data was collected using semi-structure interview. Participations were selected by purposive sampling method. Thematic analysis was used for extracting and categorizing the major domains of induced demand.   Findings: Four major categories of health services in which induced demand occurs were extracted from the interview data, including para-clinical services, medical services, surgical services, and pharmaceutical services. These health services domains account for nineteen specific health services with the potential of induced demand.   Conclusions: The study identified the health services domains in which induced demand frequently takes place. This information can help policy-makers to devise strategies for alleviating the problem.

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