Resource allocation and the burden of co-morbidities among patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: An observational cohort study from Danish general practice

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading cause of mortality, and associated with increased healthcare utilization and healthcare expenditure. In several countries, morbidity-based systems have changed the way resources are allocated in general practice. In primary care, fee-for-services tariffs are often based on political negotiation rather than costing systems. The potential for comprehensive measures of patient morbidity to explain variation in negotiated expenditures for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has not previously been examined. The aim of this study is to analyze fee-for-service expenditure of patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease visiting Danish general practice clinics and further to assess what proportion of fee-for-service expenditure variation was explained by patient morbidity and general practice clinic characteristics, respectively.

We used patient morbidity characteristics such as diagnostic markers and multi-morbidity adjustment based on adjusted clinical groups (ACGs) and fee-for-service expenditure for a sample of primary care patients for the year 2010. Our sample included 3,973 patients in 59 general practices. We used a multi-level approach.

The average annual fee-for-service expenditure of caring for patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in general practice was about EUR 400 per patient. Variation in the expenditures was driven by multimorbidity characteristics up to 28 % where as characteristics such as age and gender only explained 5 %. Expenditures increased progressively with the degree of multimorbidity. In addition, expenditures were higher for patients who had diagnostic markers based on ICPC-2 (body systems and/or components such as infections and symptoms). Nevertheless, 9.8–15.4 % of the variation in expenditure was related to the clinic in which the patient was cared for.

Patient morbidity and general practice clinic characteristics are significant patient-related fee-for-service expenditure drivers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care.
TidsskriftBMC Health Services Research
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 6. apr. 2016