Healthcare inequality in compensation claims concerning acute hospital services: a Danish register-based study

Søren Birkeland*, Lars MorsØ, Marianne FlØjstrup, Kim Lyngby Mikkelsen, Søren Bie Bogh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Although citizens' equal right to acute healthcare of appropriate quality is an oft-cited goal for modern societies, healthcare disparities may persist. We aimed to investigate inequality in compensation claims and compensation payments regarding acute healthcare services.

DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a cross-sectional study of compensation claim patterns using the Danish Patient Compensation Association (DPCA) registries.

PARTICIPANTS, INTERVENTIONS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used register data on all cases managed by DPCA relating to acute hospital healthcare for adults (aged > 18 years) from 2007 to 2017.

RESULTS: In total, the DPCA had 5556 compensation claims for injuries caused by acute care services during the years 2007-2017. Age group of 50-64 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.37 compared with those aged 18-49 years; P < 0.001), marriage (OR = 1.14; P < 0.001), higher income (OR = 1.55; P < 0.001) and Danish origin (OR = 1.49; P < 0.001) were statistically associated with higher odds for filing a compensation claim; men (OR = 0.83; P < 0.001) and those with many co-morbidities were much less represented (OR = 0.24; P < 0.001). Male gender (OR = 1.25; P < 0.001) and higher age (OR = 2.55 (80+ years); P < 0.001) were associated with higher odds for a compensation award. Failed diagnosis was also more often at stake in men (OR = 1.38; P < 0.001) and in patients aged 50-64 years (OR = 1.17; P < 0.001) but occurred less often in patients with multiple morbidities (OR = 0.68; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from our Danish material suggest some inequality in compensation claims and compensation payments regarding acute healthcare services.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzaa163
JournalInternational journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care
Volume33
Issue number1
ISSN1353-4505
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20. Feb 2021

Keywords

  • acute care
  • health service research
  • healthcare complaints
  • inequality
  • patient safety
  • public health

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