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(1/1821) Risk-adjusted capitation based on the Diagnostic Cost Group Model: an empirical evaluation with health survey information.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the predictive accuracy of the Diagnostic Cost Group (DCG) model using health survey information. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Longitudinal data collected for a sample of members of a Dutch sickness fund. In the Netherlands the sickness funds provide compulsory health insurance coverage for the 60 percent of the population in the lowest income brackets. STUDY DESIGN: A demographic model and DCG capitation models are estimated by means of ordinary least squares, with an individual's annual healthcare expenditures in 1994 as the dependent variable. For subgroups based on health survey information, costs predicted by the models are compared with actual costs. Using stepwise regression procedures a subset of relevant survey variables that could improve the predictive accuracy of the three-year DCG model was identified. Capitation models were extended with these variables. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: For the empirical analysis, panel data of sickness fund members were used that contained demographic information, annual healthcare expenditures, and diagnostic information from hospitalizations for each member. In 1993, a mailed health survey was conducted among a random sample of 15,000 persons in the panel data set, with a 70 percent response rate. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The predictive accuracy of the demographic model improves when it is extended with diagnostic information from prior hospitalizations (DCGs). A subset of survey variables further improves the predictive accuracy of the DCG capitation models. The predictable profits and losses based on survey information for the DCG models are smaller than for the demographic model. Most persons with predictable losses based on health survey information were not hospitalized in the preceding year. CONCLUSIONS: The use of diagnostic information from prior hospitalizations is a promising option for improving the demographic capitation payment formula. This study suggests that diagnostic information from outpatient utilization is complementary to DCGs in predicting future costs.  (+info)

(2/1821) Screening Mammography Program of British Columbia: pattern of use and health care system costs.

BACKGROUND: The use of mammography for screening asymptomatic women has increased dramatically in the past decade. This report describes the changes that have occurred in the use of bilateral mammography in British Columbia since the provincial breast cancer screening program began in 1988. METHODS: Using province-wide databases from both the breast cancer screening program and the provincial health insurance plan in BC, the authors determined the number and costs of bilateral mammography services for women aged 40 years or older between Apr. 1, 1986, and Mar. 31, 1997. Unilateral mammography was excluded because it is used for investigating symptomatic disease and screening abnormalities, and for follow-up of women who have undergone mastectomy for cancer. RESULTS: As the provincial breast cancer screening program expanded from 1 site in 1988 to 23 in 1997, it provided an increasing proportion of the bilateral mammographic examinations carried out each year in BC. In fiscal year 1996/97, 65% of bilateral mammographic examinations were performed through the screening program. The cost per examination within the screening program dropped as volume increased. Thirty percent more bilateral mammography examinations were done in 1996/97 than in 1991/92, but health care system expenditures for these services increased by only 4% during the same period. In calendar year 1996, 21% of new breast cancers were diagnosed as a result of a screening program visit. INTERPRETATION: Substantial increases in health care expenditures have been avoided by shifting bilateral mammography services to the provincial screening program, which has a lower cost per screening visit.  (+info)

(3/1821) The economic burden of asthma: direct and indirect costs in Switzerland.

Asthma mortality increased in Switzerland between 1980 and 1994. This study aimed to assess the economic burden of asthma in this country. Chart reviews were conducted for the last five patients seen for asthma in physician practices in 1996 and 1997. Direct expenditures and indirect costs for asthma-related morbidity were determined. A total of 589 patient charts were completely analysed, including 117 children's charts, obtained from 120 office-based physicians. The annual direct medical costs were CHF 1,778 and the mean annual indirect costs were CHF 1,019 per patient for all patients. The total estimated cost of asthma in Switzerland in 1997 was nearly CHF 1,252 million. Direct medical expenditures approached CHF 762 million, or 61% of the total. In 1997, the indirect costs for asthma were estimated to have exceeded CHF 490 million. Of these costs CHF 123 million (25%) was associated with morbidity and nearly CHF 368 million (75%) was associated with looking after asthmatic patients who had to be cared for at home. This study provides evidence that asthma is a major healthcare cost factor in Switzerland, amounting to approximately CHF 1,200 million per year. The data suggest that cost savings can be achieved by improving primary care for asthma in an ambulatory setting.  (+info)

(4/1821) Health expenditure and finance: who gets what?

The methods used in South Africa's first comprehensive review of health finance and expenditure are outlined. Special measures were adopted to make the process acceptable to all concerned during a period of profound political transition. The estimation of indicators of access to public sector resources for districts sorted by per capita income allowed the health care problems of disadvantaged communities to be highlighted.  (+info)

(5/1821) Light on population health status.

A new approach to illustrating and analysing health status is presented which allows comparisons of various aspects of health in a population at different times and in different populations during given periods. Both quantitative and qualitative elements can be represented, the impact of interventions can be monitored, and the extent to which objectives are achieved can be assessed. The practical application of the approach is demonstrated with reference to the health profiles to Tunisia in 1966 and 1994.  (+info)

(6/1821) Explaining the decline in health insurance coverage, 1979-1995.

The decline in health insurance coverage among workers from 1979 to 1995 can be accounted for almost entirely by the fact that per capita health care spending rose much more rapidly than personal income during this time period. We simulate health insurance coverage levels for 1996-2005 under alternative assumptions concerning the rate of growth of spending. We conclude that reduction in spending growth creates measurable increases in health insurance coverage for low-income workers and that the rapid increase in health care spending over the past fifteen years has created a large pool of low-income workers for whom health insurance is unaffordable.  (+info)

(7/1821) Cost of tax-exempt health benefits in 1998.

The tax expenditure for health benefits is the amount of revenues that the federal government forgoes by exempting the following from the federal income and Social Security taxes: (1) employer health benefits contribution, (2) health spending under flexible spending plans, and (3) the tax deduction for health expenses. The health tax expenditure was $111.2 billion in 1998. This figure varied from $2,357 per family among those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more to $71 per family among those with annual incomes of less than $15,000. Families with incomes of $100,000 or more (10 percent of the population) accounted for 23.6 percent of all tax expenditures.  (+info)

(8/1821) Who bears the burden of Medicaid drug copayment policies?

This DataWatch examines the impact of Medicaid prescription drug copayment policies in thirty-eight states using survey data from the 1992 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Findings indicate that elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients who reside in states with copay provisions have significantly lower rates of drug use than their counterparts in states without copayments. After controlling for other factors, we find that the primary effect of copayments is to reduce the likelihood that Medicaid recipients fill any prescription during the year. This burden falls disproportionately on recipients in poor health.  (+info)