Article

Patterns and Costs of Health Care Use of Children With Medical Complexity

Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, and.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 11/2012; 130(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0175
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:Health care use of children with medical complexity (CMC), such as those with neurologic impairment or other complex chronic conditions (CCCs) and those with technology assistance (TA), is not well understood. The objective of the study was to evaluate health care utilization and costs in a population-based sample of CMC in Ontario, Canada.METHODS:Hospital discharge data from 2005 through 2007 identified CMC. Complete health system use and costs were analyzed over the subsequent 2-year period.RESULTS:The study identified 15 771 hospitalized CMC (0.67% of children in Ontario); 10 340 (65.6%) had single-organ CCC, 1063 (6.7%) multiorgan CCC, 4368 (27.6%) neurologic impairment, and 1863 (11.8%) had TA. CMC saw a median of 13 outpatient physicians and 6 distinct subspecialists. Thirty-six percent received home care services. Thirty-day readmission varied from 12.6% (single CCC without TA) to 23.7% (multiple CCC with TA). CMC accounted for almost one-third of child health spending. Rehospitalization accounted for the largest proportion of subsequent costs (27.2%), followed by home care (11.3%) and physician services (6.0%). Home care costs were a much larger proportion of costs in children with TA. Children with multiple CCC with TA had costs 3.5 times higher than children with a single CCC without TA.CONCLUSIONS:Although a small proportion of the population, CMC account for a substantial proportion of health care costs. CMC make multiple transitions across providers and care settings and CMC with TA have higher costs and home care use. Initiatives to improve their health outcomes and decrease costs need to focus on the entire continuum of care.

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    • "These children represent a vulnerable group characterized by high health-related needs, chronic and severe conditions, functional limitations and frequent healthcare utilization (Cohen et al. 2011a). Although accounting for a small percentage of all healthcare expenditures (<1%), CMC consume approximately one-third of all paediatric healthcare resources (Cohen et al. 2012). Examples vary but include children with severe and multiple congenital anomalies or acquired brain injuries. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Integrated care has important implications for children with medical complexity (CMC) who rely on care and service delivery involving multiple providers in different places over time.Most studies describing complex care programmes focus on the effectiveness of care co-ordination rather than the process of system integration. This pilot study explores the implementation process of the Integrated Complex Care Model: a voluntary partnership between acute, rehabilitative and community care aimed at system integration through a key worker model to improve care co-ordination for CMC. Methods This descriptive study used qualitative analyses and syntheses to explore the process of inter-organizational collaboration under ‘real-life’ circumstances.Multiple methods and sources of data were gathered to support triangulation in understanding of enablers and barriers to model implementation. Forty hours of meeting minutes and administrative databases housing patient records were reviewed. Baseline demographic information was available for 23 families, including child health-related quality of life and healthcare utilization. A subset of 12 parental caregivers and 21 additional key informants participated in individual interviews or focus groups. Findings are presented using King and Meyer’s description of system integration and care co-ordination. Results Model enablers included dedication, timing, leadership and electronic care plan use/ communication among key workers, families and health providers. Barriers included assumptions about partner organizations, differing organizational structures and client information systems, constrained project resources and limited engagement of primary care. Parents perceived an electronic care plan as a facilitator of timely and effective care for CMC across multiple settings. Conclusions At a systems level, the integrated model fostered collaboration between partner organizations. At a family level, development of inter-organizational management structures and communication platforms; provision of adequate resourcing; and increased engagement of primary care may enable high level organizational integration aimed at improved care co-ordination for CMC.
    Child Care Health and Development 01/2013; 41(1). DOI:10.1111/cch.12122 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Primary care medical homes may improve health outcomes for children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN), by improving care coordination. However, community-based primary care practices may be challenged to deliver comprehensive care coordination to complex subsets of CSHCN such as children with medical complexity (CMC). Linking a tertiary care center with the community may achieve cost effective and high quality care for CMC. The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of community-based complex care clinics integrated with a tertiary care center. Methods A before- and after-intervention study design with mixed (quantitative/qualitative) methods was utilized. Clinics at two community hospitals distant from tertiary care were staffed by local community pediatricians with the tertiary care center nurse practitioner and linked with primary care providers. Eighty-one children with underlying chronic conditions, fragility, requirement for high intensity care and/or technology assistance, and involvement of multiple providers participated. Main outcome measures included health care utilization and expenditures, parent reports of parent- and child-quality of life [QOL (SF-36®, CPCHILD©, PedsQL™)], and family-centered care (MPOC-20®). Comparisons were made in equal (up to 1 year) pre- and post-periods supplemented by qualitative perspectives of families and pediatricians. Results Total health care system costs decreased from median (IQR) $244 (981) per patient per month (PPPM) pre-enrolment to $131 (355) PPPM post-enrolment (p=.007), driven primarily by fewer inpatient days in the tertiary care center (p=.006). Parents reported decreased out of pocket expenses (p<.0001). Parental QOL did not significantly change over the course of the study. Child QOL improved between baseline and 6 months in two PedsQL™ domains [Social (p=.01); Emotional (p=.003)], and between baseline and 1 year in two CPCHILD© domains [Health Standardization Section (p=.04); Comfort and Emotions (p=.03)], while total CPCHILD© score decreased between baseline and 1 year (p=.003). Parents and providers reported the ability to receive care close to home as a key benefit. Conclusions Complex care can be provided in community-based settings with less direct tertiary care involvement through an integrated clinic. Improvements in health care utilization and family-centeredness of care can be achieved despite minimal changes in parental perceptions of child health.
    BMC Health Services Research 10/2012; 12(1):366. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-12-366 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The Medical Home model recommends that Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) receive a medical care plan, outlining the child’s major medical issues and care needs to assist with care coordination. While care plans are a primary component of effective care coordination, the creation and maintenance of care plans is time, labor, and cost intensive, and the desired content of the care plan has not been studied. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the usefulness and desired content of comprehensive care plans by exploring the perceptions of parents and health care providers (HCPs) of children with medical complexity (CMC). Methods This qualitative study utilized in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. HCPs (n = 15) and parents (n = 15) of CMC who had all used a comprehensive care plan were recruited from a tertiary pediatric academic health sciences center. Themes were identified through grounded theory analysis of interview and focus group data. Results A multi-dimensional model of perceived care plan usefulness emerged. The model highlights three integral aspects of the care plan: care plan characteristics, activating factors and perceived outcomes of using a care plan. Care plans were perceived as a useful tool that centralized and focused the care of the child. Care plans were reported to flatten the hierarchical relationship between HCPs and parents, resulting in enhanced reciprocal information exchange and strengthened relationships. Participants expressed that a standardized template that is family-centered and includes content relevant to both the medical and social needs of the child is beneficial when integrated into overall care planning and delivery for CMC. Conclusions Care plans are perceived to be a useful tool to both health care providers and parents of CMC. These findings inform the utility and development of a comprehensive care plan template as well as a model of how and when to best utilize care plans within family-centered models of care.
    BMC Pediatrics 01/2013; 13(1):10. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-13-10 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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