Taiwan’s New Government to Decide the Future of Hospital Payments

For years, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has been debating whether to implement an alternative healthcare payment plan known as the Taiwan diagnosis-related group payment system (Tw-DRG). The system, modeled after the DRG system used in the United States, classifies patients into one of 1,716 different groups determined by age, gender, and disease. Under the Tw-DRG system, hospitals then receive a predetermined amount based on the classification of the patient they treat. Lawmakers hope that this system would reduce healthcare costs throughout Taiwan, but opponents argue that this new system may cause some hospitals to turn away patients that are suffering from costly diseases that could prove to be expensive. Taiwan’s MOHW has left it to current president Tsai Ing-wen to decide the future of Taiwan’s hospital payment plan.