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BMC Public Health 9:347.
Blekinge Centre of Competence, Karlskrona, Sweden
BACKGROUND: Adequate resource allocation is an important factor to ensure equity in health care. Previous reimbursement models have been based on age, gender and socioeconomic factors. An explanatory model based on individual need of primary health care (PHC) has not yet been used in Sweden to allocate resources. The aim of this study was to examine to what extent the ACG case-mix system could explain concurrent costs in Swedish PHC.
METHODS: Diagnoses were obtained from electronic PHC records of inhabitants in Blekinge County (approx. 150,000) listed with public PHC (approx. 120,000) for three consecutive years, 2004-2006. The inhabitants were then classified into six different resource utilization bands (RUB) using the ACG case-mix system. The mean costs for primary health care were calculated for each RUB and year. Using linear regression models and log-cost as dependent variable the adjusted R2 was calculated in the unadjusted model (gender) and in consecutive models where age, listing with specific PHC and RUB were added. In an additional model the ACG groups were added.
RESULTS: Gender, age and listing with specific PHC explained 14.48-14.88% of the variance in individual costs for PHC. By also adding information on level of co-morbidity, as measured by the ACG case-mix system, to specific PHC the adjusted R2 increased to 60.89-63.41%.
CONCLUSION: The ACG case-mix system explains patient costs in primary care to a high degree. Age and gender are important explanatory factors, but most of the variance in concurrent patient costs was explained by the ACG case-mix system.
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