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The Transformation of China's Health Care System and Accounting Methods: Current Reforms and Developments

Author

Listed:
  • David Chu

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Kolleen Rask

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

This paper is a case study of China’s recent reforms in hospital accounting. We analyze the Chinese health care system in transition to highlight the changing role and nature of accounting services before and after the recent reforms. Prior to reforms, the accounting system provided data solely for government central planning purposes. Reforms were supposed to decentralize hospital decision making, thus signaling a need for a new accounting system that would provide information to managers and resource providers. However, the government continues to maintain control by fixing basic medical service prices at levels below cost while allowing profit margins for pharmaceutical sales and other advanced medical services. This schizophrenic policy of quasi-decentralization/macro-control has resulted in an accounting information system that serves neither the need of managers nor external resource providers. In January 1999, major reforms were instituted in China’s hospital accounting system, creating a more streamlined structure. The legacy of the command economy, however, remains clearly evident in the areas of revenue control and state subsidies. Hospital accounting in China is therefore subject to the ongoing evolution of the government’s health care policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Chu & Kolleen Rask, 2002. "The Transformation of China's Health Care System and Accounting Methods: Current Reforms and Developments," Working Papers 0208, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0208
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/Rask_ChinaAccounting.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kolleen J. Rask & Kevin N. Rask, 1994. "The pivotal role of services in transitional economies: lessons from the West," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(4), pages 467-486, December.
    2. David Burton & Wanda S Tseng & Kalpana Kochhar & Hoe Ee Khor & Dubravko Mihaljek, 1994. "Economic Reform in China; A New Phase," IMF Occasional Papers 114, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Hsiao, William C. L., 1995. "The Chinese health care system: Lessons for other nations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1047-1055, October.
    4. Zheng, Xiang & Hillier, Sheila, 1995. "The reforms of the Chinese health care system: County level changes: The Jiangxi study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1057-1064, October.
    5. Kolleen J Rask & David K W Chu & Thomas R Gottschang, 1998. "Institutional Change in Transitional Economies: The Case of Accounting in China," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 40(4), pages 76-100, December.
    6. David Chu & Kolleen Rask & Thomas Gottschang, 1998. "Institutional Change in Transitional Economies: The Case of Accounting in China," Working Papers 9804, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    7. Michael W. Bell & Kalpana Kochhar & Hoe Ee Khor, 1993. "China at the Threshold of a Market Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 107, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Grogan, Colleen M., 1995. "Urban economic reform and access to health care coverage in the People's Republic of China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1073-1084, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Trevor Hopper & Mathew Tsamenyi & Shahzad Uddin & Danture Wickramasinghe, 2009. "Management accounting in less developed countries: what is known and needs knowing," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(3), pages 469-514, March.

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