Home health services in British Columbia: a portrait of users and trends over time

Published: October 31, 2008
Category: Bibliography > Reports
Authors: Broemeling AM, McGrail KM, McGregor MJ, McKendry R, Ronald LA, Salomons K
Countries: Canada
Language: null
Types: Care Management
Settings: Academic

Home health services in British Columbia: a portrait of users and trends over time. Vancouver, BC, Canada: University of British Columbia.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Home health services are often provided to people who are frail and may be reaching the end of their lives. Their purpose is to help people remain in their own homes as long as possible. These services are part of a continuum of health care that ranges from ambulatory to inpatient acute care. This report focuses on services reflected in data that are routinely provided by Health Authorities to the BC Ministry of Health Services. The Ministry does not track the full range of health care services used by seniors dwelling in the community. Health authorities provide some services that they do not report, such as case management. Community-based agencies do not report to the Ministry on the support services they provide.

This is a descriptive report. Its primary purpose is to describe users of home health services, and determine whether and how they differ between Health Authorities/ Health Service Delivery Areas and from community dwelling non-users. That intention led us to the following research questions:

  • What proportion of BC seniors use home health services and how has this changed over time?
  • What is the demographic profile (age, sex, income, and health status) of long-term home health services users who are seniors (65+) and how does this differ from community-dwelling seniors who do not use home health services?
  • How has the profile of long-term home health service users with respect to age, sex, income, usage by region, and health status changed over time?
  • What types of services are used by long-term home health services users and how has this changed over time?
  • What is the relationship between the use of home health services and the use of other health care services such as visits to physicians, diagnostic services and admissions to hospital?

The majority of data analysed for this report derive from the BC Linked Health Database, which has been developed by the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Health Services. Analyses focus on individuals aged 65+ in 1995/96 through 2004/05 who are long-term users (90+ days) of home health services. This was a period of substantial policy change in the home health services sector and in the broader health care system (see Figure 1 for a summary of policy changes). Many changes in patterns of service use occurred over this time, but we offer the following as a summary of some of the most important.

Population Markers,Canada,Resource Use,Case Management

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