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Open Access Research article

How do patient characteristics influence informal payments for inpatient and outpatient health care in Albania: Results of logit and OLS models using Albanian LSMS 2005

Sonila Tomini12* and Hans Maarse2

Author Affiliations

1 Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

2 Department of Health Organization Policy and Economics, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:375  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-375

Published: 23 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Informal payments for health care are common in most former communist countries. This paper explores the demand side of these payments in Albania. By using data from the Living Standard Measurement Survey 2005 we control for individual determinants of informal payments in inpatient and outpatient health care. We use these results to explain the main factors contributing to the occurrence and extent of informal payments in Albania.

Methods

Using multivariate methods (logit and OLS) we test three models to explain informal payments: the cultural, economic and governance model. The results of logit models are presented here as odds ratios (OR) and results from OLS models as regression coefficients (RC).

Results

Our findings suggest differences in determinants of informal payments in inpatient and outpatient care. Generally our results show that informal payments are dependent on certain characteristics of patients, including age, area of residence, education, health status and health insurance. However, they are less dependent on income, suggesting homogeneity of payments across income categories.

Conclusions

We have found more evidence for the validity of governance and economic models than for the cultural model.

Keywords:
Public health care; informal payments; economic transition; governance; Albania