Does rural health system reform aimed at improving access to primary health care affect hospitalization rates? An interrupted time series analysis of national policy reforms in Iran
Primary health care reforms are often proposed for their efficiency outcomes (i.e. reduction in costs and use of hospitals) as well as their impact on improving health outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rural health insurance and family physician reforms on hospitalization rates in Iran and it demonstrated that in populations with unmet needs, such reforms are likely to substantially increase hospitalization rates. This is an important consideration for successful design and implementation of interventions aimed at achieving universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries.