Impact of User Fees in Health Care System on Health Care Consumption

Issue: 2010/4

Veronika Krůtilová

Department of Public Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic, e-mail:

In comparison to other European countries, it is claimed that the Czech Republic belongs to the countries with higher health care consumption, even if health status does not positively correlate with health care use. Therefore, user fees as a form of patient cost sharing were introduced to regulate health care consumption and to confront the patient with resource scarcity in the health care system as a part of health care reform package in 2008. The goal of the paper is to determine the changes in health care consumption after user fees implementation and evaluate their regulatory effect in a short period of time. The analysis of the changes in health care consumption is made on the basis of data from the largest health insurance company – VZP ČR (60 % of the Czech population). The health care consumption is monitored according to particular types of health care services for particular age groups in years 2007, 2008 and 2009. This analysis identifies the major changes in the consumption after user fees implementation among the observed age groups of Czech population. Furthermore, it is possible to prove the regulatory effect of user fees in a short period of time (2 years).

DOI: 10.2478/v10135-011-0001-3
JEL: I18
Keywords: user fee, regulation of health care utilization, Health care consumption, Czech Republic, cost sharing

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