The hospital costs of care for stroke in nine European countries
Stroke is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, but the reasons for differences in costs of care within and between countries are not well understood. The HealthBASKET project used a vignette methodology to compare the mean costs and prices of hospital care across providers in nine European Union countries. Data on resource use, unit costs and prices of care for female stroke patients without co-morbidity were collected from a sample of 50 hospitals. Mean costs for each provider were analysed using multiple regression. Sensitivity analysis explored the effects on cost of using official exchange rates, purchasing power parity (PPP) and proportion of national income per capita. The mean cost of a hospital episode per patient for stroke at PPP was €3813 (standard error 227) with an additional day in hospital typically associated with 6.9% (95% CI: 4-9%) higher costs and thrombolysis associated with 41% higher costs (10-73%). After adjusting for explanatory factors, about 76% of the variation in cost could be attributed to between-country differences, and the extent of this variation was sensitive to the method of currency conversion. There was considerable variation in the care pathways within and between countries, including differences in the availability of stroke units and access to rehabilitative services, but only the length of stay and use of thrombolytic therapy were significantly associated with higher cost. The vignette methodology appears feasible, but further research needs to consider access to healthcare over a longer follow up and to include both costs and outcomes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): S1 ()
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