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

Hiroshi Igaki, Hiroshi Onishi, Keiichi Nakagawa, Takushi Dokiya, Kenji Nemoto, Naoyuki Shigematsu, Yasumasa Nishimura, Masahiro Hiraoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhyt147
Pages (from-to)1233-1237
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Volume43
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 1

Keywords

  • Consultation fee
  • Multidisciplinary medical care
  • Outpatient radiotherapy
  • Questionnaire survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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