Drivers of hospital expenditure and length of stay in an academic medical centre: a retrospective cross-sectional study.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Jul 02;19(1):442
Authors: Rahman N, Ng SH, Ramachandran S, Wang DD, Sridharan S, Tan CS, Khoo A, Tan XQ
BACKGROUND: As healthcare expenditure and utilization continue to rise, understanding key drivers of hospital expenditure and utilization is crucial in policy development and service planning. This study aims to investigate micro drivers of hospital expenditure and length of stay (LOS) in an Academic Medical Centre.
METHODS: Data corresponding to 285,767 patients and 207,426 inpatient visits was extracted from electronic medical records of the National University of Hospital in Singapore between 2005 to 2013. Generalized linear models and generalized estimating equations were employed to build patient and inpatient visit models respectively. The patient models provide insight on the factors affecting overall expenditure and LOS, whereas the inpatient visit models provide insight on how expenditure and LOS accumulate longitudinally.
RESULTS: Although adjusted expenditure and LOS per inpatient visit were largely similar across socio-economic status (SES) groups, patients of lower SES groups accumulated greater expenditure and LOS over time due to more frequent visits. Admission to a ward class with greater government subsidies was associated with higher expenditure and LOS per inpatient visit. Inpatient death was also associated with higher expenditure per inpatient visit. Conditions that drove patient expenditure and LOS were largely similar, with mental illnesses affecting LOS to a larger extent. These observations on condition drivers largely held true at visit-level.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the importance of distinguishing the drivers of patient expenditure and inpatient utilization at the patient-level from those at the visit-level. This allows better understanding of the drivers of healthcare utilization and how utilization accumulates longitudinally, important for health policy and service planning.
PMID: 31266515 [PubMed - in process]