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Measuring change in health care equity using small-area administrative data – Evidence from the English NHS 2001–2008

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  • Cookson, Richard
  • Laudicella, Mauro
  • Donni, Paolo Li

Abstract

This study developed a method for measuring change in socio-economic equity in health care utilisation using small-area level administrative data. Our method provides more detailed information on utilisation than survey data but only examines socio-economic differences between neighbourhoods rather than individuals. The context was the English NHS from 2001 to 2008, a period of accelerated expenditure growth and pro-competition reform. Hospital records for all adults receiving non-emergency hospital care in the English NHS from 2001 to 2008 were aggregated to 32,482 English small areas with mean population about 1500 and combined with other small-area administrative data. Regression models of utilisation were used to examine year-on-year change in the small-area association between deprivation and utilisation, allowing for population size, age–sex composition and disease prevalence including (from 2003 to 2008) cancer, chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension, hypothyroidism, stroke, transient ischaemic attack and (from 2006 to 2008) atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity and heart failure. There was no substantial change in small-area associations between deprivation and utilisation for outpatient visits, hip replacement, senile cataract, gastroscopy or coronary revascularisation, though overall non-emergency inpatient admissions rose slightly faster in more deprived areas than elsewhere. Associations between deprivation and disease prevalence changed little during the period, indicating that observed need did not grow faster in more deprived areas than elsewhere. We conclude that there was no substantial deterioration in socio-economic equity in health care utilisation in the English NHS from 2001 to 2008, and if anything, there may have been a slight improvement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 1514-1522

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:8:p:1514-1522

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Related research

Keywords: UK; England; Equity in health care; Health services accessibility; Health services needs and demand; Health care disparities; Small-area analysis; Socio-economic factors;

References

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  1. Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson & Simon Burgess, 2005. "Extending Choice In English Health Care: The implications of the economic evidence," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/133, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
  3. Hugh Gravelle & Matthew Sutton & Stephen Morris & Frank Windmeijer & Alastair Leyland & Chris Dibben & Mike Muirhead, 2003. "Modelling supply and demand influences on the use of health care: implications for deriving a needs-based capitation formula," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(12), pages 985-1004.
  4. Carol Propper & Matt Sutton & Carolyn Whitnall & Frank Windmeijer, 2007. "Did 'Targets and Terror' Reduce Waiting times in England for Hospital Care?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/179, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896, July.
  6. Carol Propper & Matt Sutton & Carolyn Whitnall & Frank Windmeijer, 2008. "Incentives and Targets in Hospital Care: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/205, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. Morris, Stephen & Sutton, Matthew & Gravelle, Hugh, 2005. "Inequity and inequality in the use of health care in England: an empirical investigation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1251-1266, March.
  8. Carol Propper & Jenny Eachus & Philip Chan & Nicky Pearson & George Davey Smith, 2005. "Access to health care resources in the UK: the case of care for arthritis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 391-406.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Cookson & Mauro Laudicella & Paolo Li Donni, 2011. "Does hospital competition harm equity? Evidence from the English National Health Service," Working Papers 066cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

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