BioScience Trends. 2017;11(5):524-532. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01227)

Price adjustment for traditional Chinese medicine procedures: Based on a standardized value parity model.

Wang HY, Jin CL, Jiang QW


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an important part of China's medical system. Due to the prolonged low price of TCM procedures and the lack of an effective mechanism for dynamic price adjustment, the development of TCM has markedly lagged behind Western medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized the need to enhance the development of alternative and traditional medicine when creating national health care systems. The establishment of scientific and appropriate mechanisms to adjust the price of medical procedures in TCM is crucial to promoting the development of TCM. This study has examined incorporating value indicators and data on basic manpower expended, time spent, technical difficulty, and the degree of risk in the latest standards for the price of medical procedures in China, and this study also offers a price adjustment model with the relative price ratio as a key index. This study examined 144 TCM procedures and found that prices of TCM procedures were mainly based on the value of medical care provided; on average, medical care provided accounted for 89% of the price. Current price levels were generally low and the current price accounted for 56% of the standardized value of a procedure, on average. Current price levels accounted for a markedly lower standardized value of acupuncture, moxibustion, special treatment with TCM, and comprehensive TCM procedures. This study selected a total of 79 procedures and adjusted them by priority. The relationship between the price of TCM procedures and the suggested price was significantly optimized (p < 0.01). This study suggests that adjustment of the price of medical procedures based on a standardized value parity model is a scientific and suitable method of price adjustment that can serve as a reference for other provinces and municipalities in China and other countries and regions that mainly have fee-for-service (FFS) medical care.

KEYWORDS: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), prices of medical procedures, standardized value parity model, mechanism of price adjustment

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