Use of hospital and long-term institutional care services in relation to proximity to death among older people in Finland
Using nationally-representative register data for older people in Finland in period 1998–2003 we study how the number of days in acute hospital and long term institutional care services varies by age and proximity to death and how these use patterns change as mortality improves. Acute health care use depends more on proximity to death than on age, a finding often interpreted as showing that the need for care services among older people will be substantially less than would be expected based on the likely increase in population numbers. We show that this assumption is too optimistic for three reasons: (1) the increase in population numbers will be concentrated mainly among the “old old” where use of services is substantial; (2) earlier findings of much lower use of acute care services by older than younger people who are close to death are not observed; and (3) any savings in acute care are more than offset by greater use of residential long-term care (LTC). The main consequences of improving mortality are: (1) to postpone rather than to reduce overall demand for health care; (2) to shift the balance of care from acute to long-term care services; and (3) to increase considerably the average age of time spent in care. We further construct a new indicator “care-free life expectancy” based on number of days in hospital and long-term care to summarise care use patterns for cohorts under a range of plausible mortality assumptions. As mortality improves, lifetime use of acute hospital and long-term care after age 65 and the proportion of life spent in LTC increases for later cohorts, but the proportion spent in acute care decreases slightly.
Volume (Year): 88 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Batljan, Ilija & Lagergren, Mårten, 2004. "Inpatient/outpatient health care costs and remaining years of life--effect of decreasing mortality on future acute health care demand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2459-2466, December.
- Bartosz Przywara, 2010. "Projecting future health care expenditure at European level: drivers, methodology and main results," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 417, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Friedrich Breyer & Joan Costa-Font & Stefan Felder, 2010. "Ageing, health, and health care," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 674-690, Winter.
- Baoping Shang & Dana Goldman, 2008. "Does age or life expectancy better predict health care expenditures?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 487-501.
- Schulz, Erika & Leidl, Reiner & Konig, Hans-Helmut, 2004. "The impact of ageing on hospital care and long-term care--the example of Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 57-74, January.
- McGrail, K. & Green, B. & Barer, M.L. & Evans, R.G. & Hertzman, C., 2000. "Age, Costs of Acute and Long-term Care and Proximity to Death: Evidence for 1987-88 and 1994-94 in Btitish Columbia," Centre for Health Services and Policy Research 2000:8, University of British Columbia - Centre for Health Services and Policy Research..
- Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton, 2004. "Time to include time to death? The future of health care expenditure predictions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 315-327.
- Wickstrom, Jannie & Serup-Hansen, Niels & Kristiansen, Ivar Sonbo, 2002. "Future health care costs--do health care costs during the last year of life matter?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 161-172, November.
- France Weaver & Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton & William Spector, 2009. "Proximity to death and participation in the long-term care market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 867-883.
- Seshamani, Meena & Gray, Alastair M., 2004. "A longitudinal study of the effects of age and time to death on hospital costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 217-235, March.
- Polder, Johan J. & Barendregt, Jan J. & van Oers, Hans, 2006. "Health care costs in the last year of life--The Dutch experience," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(7), pages 1720-1731, October.
- Oecd, 2006. "Projecting OECD Health and Long-Term Care Expenditures: What Are the Main Drivers?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 477, OECD Publishing.
- Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Markus Meiers, 1999. "Ageing of population and health care expenditure: a red herring?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 485-496.
- Häkkinen, Unto & Martikainen, Pekka & Noro, Anja & Nihtilä, Elina & Peltola, Mikko, 2008. "Aging, health expenditure, proximity to death, and income in Finland," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 165-195, April.
- David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1999.
"Demographics and medical care spending: standard and non-standard effects,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
1999-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Demographics and Medical Care Spending: Standard and Non-Standard Effects," NBER Working Papers 6866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andreas Werblow & Stefan Felder & Peter Zweifel, 2007. "Population ageing and health care expenditure: a school of 'red herrings'?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(10), pages 1109-1126.
- Brockmann, Hilke, 2002. "Why is less money spent on health care for the elderly than for the rest of the population? Health care rationing in German hospitals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 593-608, August.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1984. ""Though Much is Taken" -- Reflections on Aging, Health, and Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 1269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:88:y:2013:i:c:p:39-47. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.