Objectives: This study aims to investigate the relationship between the level of urbanization and the utilization of outpatient services under the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in Taiwan. Methods: We adopted a two-part model using data from the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2001 National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. Data for a total of 20,640 individuals were obtained for subsequent analysis in this study. Results: The results of the first part, the contact analysis, indicate that individuals residing in areas with lower urbanization levels are less likely to use outpatient services compared to those residing in areas with the highest urbanization levels. The second part of the frequency analysis revealed that, for those individuals that had previously utilized outpatient services, those residing in areas with lower urbanization levels tended to utilize outpatient services less than individuals residing in areas with higher levels of urbanization. Conclusions: Our empirical results show that differences between urbanization levels are a major contributory factor associated with the probability and frequency of outpatient utilization in Taiwan.
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