The study aims to assess the impact of health transformation plan (HTP) as a major health system reform on hospitalization rate in Iran. Health transformation plan adopted different measures to increase the coverage of basic health insurance, increase the quality of outpatient visit care, improve and expand the family physician program, expand health services to suburban areas, reduce out-of-pocket (OOP) payments for inpatient services, and update tariffs to more realistic ones.
We selected Kurdistan province, a province that was not a patient referral hub, for the collection of monthly hospitalization data over a period of 50 months. Interrupted time series (ITS) analysis was carried out, and segmented regression analysis was employed to assess the abrupt (or short-term) and gradual (or long-term) effects of HTP on hospitalization rate.
Although before the intervention, there was no significant increase or decline in hospitalization rate in the Kurdistan province, after the implementation of HTP, a significant increase in the intercept and slope of hospitalization rate was observed (P < 0.001).
Health transformation plan has improved the utilization of hospitalization care services in a province that historically had been suffering from underutilized hospital services.