Mental health/medical care cost offsets: opportunities for managed care.
Health services researchers have long observed that outpatient mental health treatment sometimes leads to a reduction in unnecessary or excessive general medical care expenditures. Such reductions, or cost offsets, have been found following mental health treatment of distressed elderly medical inpatients, some patients as they develop major medical illnesses, primary care outpatients with multiple unexplained somatic complaints, and nonelderly adults with alcoholism. In this paper we argue that managed care has an opportunity to capture these medical care cost savings by training utilization managers to make mental health services more accessible to patients whose excessive use of medical care is related to psychological factors. For financial reasons, such policies are most likely to develop within health care plans that integrate the financing and management of mental health and medical/surgical benefits. (+info)
Follow-up of breast cancer in primary care vs specialist care: results of an economic evaluation.
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing primary-care-centred follow-up of breast cancer patients with the current standard practice of specialist-centred follow-up showed no increase in delay in diagnosing recurrence, and no increase in anxiety or deterioration in health-related quality of life. An economic evaluation of the two schemes of follow-up was conducted concurrent with the RCT Because the RCT found no difference in the primary clinical outcomes, a cost minimization analysis was conducted. Process measures of the quality of care such as frequency and length of visits were superior in primary care. Costs to patients and to the health service were lower in primary care. There was no difference in total costs of diagnostic tests, with particular tests being performed more frequently in primary care than in specialist care. Data are provided on the average frequency and length of visits, and frequency of diagnostic testing for breast cancer patients during the follow-up period. (+info)
Resource allocation for public hospitals in Andhra Pradesh, India.
The composition of the hospital sector has important implications for cost effectiveness accessibility and coverage. The classification of acute general hospitals is reviewed here with particular reference to India and Andhra Pradesh. Approaches to arrive at a norm for allocation of hospital expenditure among secondary and tertiary hospitals are discussed. The actual allocation of public sector hospital expenditures is analyzed with data from Andhra Pradesh. The shift in allocative emphasis away from hospitals and in favour of primary health care during the 1980s was found to have been equally shared by secondary and tertiary hospitals. The shares of recurrent (non-plan) expenditure to secondary and tertiary hospitals were 51% and 49% respectively. This can be compared to a derived norm of 66% and 33%. The opportunity that new investment funds (plan schemes) could have provided to rectify the expenditure bias against secondary level hospitals was missed as two-thirds of plan expenditure were also spent on tertiary level hospitals. The share of secondary hospital bed capacity was 45.5% against India's Planning Commission norm of 70%. Public spending strategies should explicitly consider what mix of hospital services is being financed as well as the balance between hospital and primary health care expenditures. (+info)
Predictors of acute hospital costs for treatment of ischemic stroke in an academic center.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We sought to determine predictors of acute hospital costs in patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke to an academic center using a stroke management team to coordinate care. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data were prospectively collected on 191 patients consecutively admitted with acute ischemic stroke. Patients were classified by insurance status, premorbid modified Rankin scale, stroke location, stroke severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score), and presence of comorbidities. Detailed hospital charge data were converted to cost by application of department-specific cost-to-charge ratios. Physician's fees were not included. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was computed to determine the predictors of total hospital cost. RESULTS: Median length of stay was 6 days (range, 1 to 63 days), and mortality was 3%. Median hospital cost per discharge was $4408 (range, $1199 to $59 799). Fifty percent of costs were for room charges, 19% for stroke evaluation, 21% for medical management, and 7% for acute rehabilitation therapies. Sixteen percent were admitted to an intensive care unit. Length of stay accounted for 43% of the variance in total cost. Other independent predictors of cost included stroke severity, heparin treatment, atrial fibrillation, male sex, ischemic cardiac disease, and premorbid functional status. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the major predictors of acute hospital costs of stroke in this environment are length of stay, stroke severity, cardiac disease, male sex, and use of heparin. Room charges accounted for the majority of costs, and attempts to reduce the cost of stroke evaluation would be of marginal value. Efforts to reduce acute costs should be monitored for potential cost shifting or a negative impact on quality of care. (+info)
Diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for nonmetastatic breast cancer in Canada, and their associated costs.
In an era of fiscal restraint, it is important to evaluate the resources required to diagnose and treat serious illnesses. As breast cancer is the major malignancy affecting Canadian women, Statistics Canada has analysed the resources required to manage this disease in Canada, and the associated costs. Here we report the cost of initial diagnosis and treatment of nonmetastatic breast cancer, including adjuvant therapies. Treatment algorithms for Stages I, II, and III of the disease were derived by age group (< 50 or > or = 50 years old), principally from Canadian cancer registry data, supplemented, where necessary, by the results of surveys of Canadian oncologists. Data were obtained on breast cancer incidence by age, diagnostic work-up, stage at diagnosis, initial treatment, follow-up practice, duration of hospitalization and direct care costs. The direct health care costs associated with 'standard' diagnostic and therapeutic approaches were calculated for a cohort of 17,700 Canadian women diagnosed in 1995. Early stage (Stages I and II) breast cancer represented 87% of all incident cases, with 77% of cases occurring in women > or = 50 years. Variations were noted in the rate of partial vs total mastectomy, according to stage and age group. Direct costs for diagnosis and initial treatment ranged from $8014 for Stage II women > or = 50 years old, to $10,897 for Stage III women < 50 years old. Except for Stage III women < 50 years old, the largest expenditure was for hospitalization for surgery, followed by radiotherapy costs. Chemotherapy was the largest cost component for Stage III women < 50 years old. This report describes the cost of diagnosis and initial treatment of nonmetastatic breast cancer in Canada, assuming current practice patterns. A second report will describe the lifetime costs of treating all stages of breast cancer. These data will then be incorporated into Statistics Canada's Population Health Model (POHEM) to perform cost-effectiveness studies of new therapeutic interventions for breast cancer, such as the cost-effectiveness of day surgery, or of radiotherapy to all breast cancer patients undergoing breast surgery. (+info)
Health reform and hospital financing in Georgia.
AIM: To analyze hospital financing and delivery of inpatient services, financial requirements of the hospitals, and their ability to meet these requirements were determined. METHODS: Data on financial performance of 41 hospitals were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Patient survey, group discussions with hospital administrators, and interviews with policy-makers were also used. RESULTS: Thirty-three hospitals were unable to recover full costs, and 29 were unable to recover full costs excluding capital consumption cost. Cost recovery rate (CRR) of full costs for 14 hospitals was less than 70% and CRR of full costs minus capital consumption costs was less than 70% for 8 hospitals. Collected actual revenues comprised 75.2% of hospitals' full costs. Mean CRR for the sample was 78.6+25.2%. General and long-term hospitals recover 64.8% of their costs, but pediatric and specialized hospitals collected revenues to cover full costs excluding the capital consumption costs. Medium-sized hospitals recovered only 63. 5% of full costs. The hospitals operated with low efficiency, low occupancy rates (31%), and excessive staffing (1.5 physicians per occupied bed). They employed salary equalization policies, which increased the share of fixed costs, perpetuated the oversupply of medical personnel, and yielded low pays. Hospitals charged in excess of their officially accounted costs but, and due to the low collection rates, cost recovery rates were below the officially accounted costs (87.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Low official reimbursement rates and patient unawareness of official hospital costs creates conducive environment for shifting major turnover of the real hospital costs to the patients, resulting in illegal patients charging. (+info)
Determining the cost of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a decision analytic model.
OBJECTIVE: To design a decision analytic model to help determine the costs associated with various treatment regimens for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). STUDY DESIGN: A decision analytic model incorporating Markov processes was developed to calculate clinical and direct economic outcomes for patients with GERD after 2 years of treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We used retrospective data in the Markov model to generate clinical and economic outcomes. The primary data sources were the 1993 MarketScan claims database, the 1992 National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the clinical literature. RESULTS: Patients with mild GERD (17.6% of patients) contributed 37.8% of costs, while those with moderate to severe disease (14.4% of patients) contributed 49.9% of costs. The remaining 12.3% of costs was spent on the 68% of patients with non-GERD diagnoses. The class of drugs with the highest acquisition cost--proton pump inhibitors--had the lowest total cost per case. The high level of efficacy of these drugs may explain this result. Sensitivity testing showed no evidence that our model's results depended heavily on any one probability or cost factor. CONCLUSIONS: This model showed that patients with moderate to severe GERD were the most expensive cases to treat and that proton pump inhibitors resulted in the lowest total cost per case. Further testing and manipulation of the model are required to gain a better understanding of the trade-offs involved in different options for GERD management. (+info)
The costs of hospital services: a case study of Evangelical Lutheran Church hospitals in Tanzania.
The health care systems of many developing countries are facing a severe crisis. Problems of financing services leads to high patient fees which make institutions of Western health care unaffordable for the majority of the rural poor. The conflict between sustainability and affordability of the official health care system challenges both local decision-makers and health management consultants. Decisions must be made soon so that the existing health care systems can survive. However, these decisions must be based on sound data, especially on the costs of health care services. The existing accounting systems of most hospitals in developing countries do not provide decision-makers with these data. Costs are generally underestimated. The leadership of the 16 hospitals of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania is currently analyzing how the existing health care services should be restructured. Therefore, reliable estimates of the costs of hospitals services are required. A survey on 'Costing of health services of the Evang. Luth. Church in Tanzania' was prepared, which summarizes the results of seven months of field investigations in Lutheran hospitals. The major findings are that the costs of providing adequate services are much higher than expected. The most important factors determining these costs are the administrative efficiency of the hospital and the scope of services offered. The paper closes with some recommendations on how to improve the services in order to make them both affordable for the rural poor and financially sustainable for the Church. It is concluded that even the best improvement of technical efficiency will not safeguard the survival of the hospital-based health care services of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania. These findings call for a reallocation of health care resources to lower levels of the health care pyramid. (+info)