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INCOME-RELATED INEQUITY IN HEALTHCARE UTILISATION AMONG INDIVIDUALS WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN ENGLAND—ACCOUNTING FOR VERTICAL INEQUITY

Authors


Correspondence to: UCL Clinical Trials Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: l.vallejo-torres@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Economic analyses of equity which focus solely on horizontal inequity offer a partial assessment of socioeconomic inequity in healthcare use. We analyse income-related inequity in cardiovascular disease-related healthcare utilisation by individuals reporting cardiovascular disease in England, including both horizontal and vertical aspects. For the analysis of vertical inequity, we use target groups to estimate the appropriate relationship between healthcare needs and use. We find that including vertical inequity considerations may lead us to draw different conclusions about the nature and extent of income-related inequity. After accounting for vertical inequity in addition to horizontal inequity, there is no longer evidence of inequity favouring the poor for nurse visits, whereas there is some evidence that doctor visits and inpatient stays are concentrated among richer individuals. The estimates of income-related inequity for outpatient visits, electrocardiography tests and heart surgery become even more pro-rich when accounting for vertical inequity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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