J Korean Diet Assoc.  2010 Nov;16(4):378-396.

Analysis of Hospital Foodservice Management and Health Insurance Coverage of Inpatient Meals in Seoul

  • 1Department of Nutrition, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, Catholic University, Seoul 150-713, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nutrition, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul 110-746, Korea.
  • 3Department of Nutrition, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyunghee University, Seoul 134-727, Korea.
  • 4Department of Nutrition, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul 110-744, Korea.
  • 5Department of Nutrition, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Korea.
  • 6Department of Nutrition, Seoul Bukbu Geriatric Hospital, Seoul 131-230, Korea.
  • 7Department of Food & Nutrition, Sangji University, Wonju 220-702, Korea. hy1317@sangji.ac.kr


The objectives of this study were to explore hospital foodservice management and to investigate conditions related to health insurance coverage of inpatient meals. A questionnaire was distributed to the nutrition departments of 44 hospitals in Seoul on July 2009. The average kitchen area was 0.5 m2, and centralized distribution systems were in place. Partition walls from contamination zones, separate work tables to prevent cross-contamination, exclusive areas for preparing tube feeding, and split carts with refrigerated and convection heat settings were largely used in tertiary hospitals. Most dietitians did meal rounds (93.2%) and surveyed for patient satisfaction (86.4%). The major theme of QI (Quality Improvement) was menu management (31.8%). The health insurance fees for meals were 4,938.9 won for a general diet, 5,199.8 won for a therapeutic diet, 4,067.0 won for tube feeding, 9,950.0 won for sterilized diet, and 18,383.4 won for diets not covered by health insurance. The prices for general and therapeutic diets were significantly lower in hospitals compared to tertiary or general hospitals (P<0.001). The cost composed of 48.3% food, 44.0% labor and 7.7% overhead for general diets and 47.9%, 44.5% and 7.6% for therapeutic diets. In the case of health insurance coverage for patient meals, the number of items applied to general diets averaged 2.8 out of 4 and for therapeutic diets it averaged 1.9 out of 3. To reform the health insurance coverage system for patient meals, it is urgent that the qualified level of patient meals is presented from a national viewpoint, and monitoring should be performed consistently by developing the evaluation tools.


hospital foodservice; health insurance coverage; inpatient meals; general diet; therapeutic diet

MeSH Terms

Enteral Nutrition
Fees and Charges
Hospitals, General
Hot Temperature
Insurance, Health
Mitochondrial Diseases
Patient Satisfaction
Surveys and Questionnaires
Tertiary Care Centers
Mitochondrial Diseases
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