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Investigating the geographic disparity in quality of care: the case of hospital readmission after acute myocardial infarction in Italy

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  • Yuxi Wang

    (Bocconi University)

  • Simone Ghislandi

    (Bocconi University)

  • Aleksandra Torbica

    (Bocconi University)

Abstract

Unwarranted variation in the quality of care challenges the sustainability of healthcare systems. Especially in decentralised healthcare systems, it is crucial to understand the drivers behind regional differences in hospital qualities such as unplanned readmissions. This paper examines the factors that influence the risk of unplanned hospital readmission and the geographic disparity of readmission rate in Italy. We use hospital discharge data from 2010 to 2015 for patients above 65 years old admitted with Acute Myocardial Infarction. Employing hierarchical models, we identified the patient and hospital-level determinants for unplanned readmission. In line with the literature, the risk of readmission increases with age and being male, while hospitals with higher patient volume and capacity tend to have lower unplanned readmission. In particular, we find that after patient risk-adjustments, there are differential effects of hospitalisation length-of-stay on the probability of readmission across the hospitals that are governed by different payment systems. For hospitals under a prospective payment system, the effect of length-of-stay in reducing the probability of readmission is weaker than hospitals under an ex-post global budget, but the overall readmission rates are the lowest. Moreover, there are substantial geographic variations in readmission rate across Local Health Authority and regions, and these variations of unplanned readmission are explained by differences in hospital length-of-stay and surgical procedures used. Our results demonstrate that differential hospital behaviours can be one of the potential mechanisms that drive geographic quality disparities.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuxi Wang & Simone Ghislandi & Aleksandra Torbica, 2020. "Investigating the geographic disparity in quality of care: the case of hospital readmission after acute myocardial infarction in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(8), pages 1149-1168, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:21:y:2020:i:8:d:10.1007_s10198-020-01221-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-020-01221-9
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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 26th October 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-10-26 12:00:03

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Geographic variation; Readmission; Rehospitalisation; Italy; Quality of care; Length of stay;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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