Access to emergency operative care: a comparative study between the Canadian and American health care systems.
ABSTRACT Canada provides universal health insurance to all citizens, whereas 47 million Americans are uninsured. There has not been a study comparing access to emergency operative care between the 2 countries. As both countries contemplate changes in health care delivery, such comparisons are needed to guide health policy decisions. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there is a difference in access to emergency operative care between Canada and the United States.
All patients diagnosed with acute appendicitis from 2001 to 2005 were identified in the Canadian Institute for Health Information database and the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Severity of appendicitis was determined by ICD-9 codes. Patients were further characterized by age, gender, insurance status, race, and socioeconomic status (SES; income). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the odds of appendiceal perforation at different levels of SES in each country.
There were 102,692 Canadian patients and 276,890 American patients with acute appendicitis. In Canada, there was no difference in the odds of perforation between income levels. In the United States, there was a significant, inverse relationship between income level and the odds of perforation. The odds of perforation in the lowest income quartile were significantly higher than the odds of perforation in the highest income bracket (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.24).
The results suggest that access to emergency operative care is related to SES in the United States, but not in Canada. This difference could result from the concern over the ability to pay medical bills or the lack of a stable relationship with a primary care provider that can occur outside of a universal health care system.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To compare health care utilization between Canadian and U.S. residents. DATA SOURCES: Nationally representative 2007 surveys from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for the United States and the Canadian Community Health Survey for Canada. STUDY DESIGN: We use descriptive and multivariate methods to examine differences in health care utilization rates for visits to medical providers, nurses, chiropractors, specialists, dentists, and overnight hospital stays, usual source of care, Pap smear tests, and mammograms. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The poor and less educated were more likely to utilize health care in Canada than in the United States. The differences were especially pronounced for having a usual source of care and for visits to providers, specialists, and dentists. Health care use for residents with high incomes and higher levels of education were not markedly different between the two countries and often higher for U.S residents. Foreign-born residents were more likely to use health care in Canada than in the United States. The descriptive results were confirmed in multivariate regressions. CONCLUSIONS: Given the magnitude of our results, the health insurance structure in Canada might have played an important role in improving access to care for subpopulations examined in this study.Health Services Research 04/2013; 48(2):560-81. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Racial disparities in receipt of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) persist in the United States and have been shown to also be associated with a number of driving factors, including insurance status. However, little is known as to how expanding insurance coverage across a population influences disparities in surgical care. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of Massachusetts health care reform on racial disparities in MIS. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A retrospective cohort study assessed the probability of undergoing MIS vs an open operation for nonwhite patients in Massachusetts compared with 6 control states. All discharges (n = 167 560) of nonelderly white, black, or Latino patients with government insurance (Medicaid or Commonwealth Care insurance) or no insurance who underwent a procedure for acute appendicitis or acute cholecystitis at inpatient hospitals between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2009, were assessed. Data are from the Hospital Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases. INTERVENTION The 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, which expanded insurance coverage for government-subsidized, self-pay, and uninsured individuals in Massachusetts. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Adjusted probability of undergoing MIS and difference-in-difference estimates. RESULTS Prior to the 2006 reform, Massachusetts nonwhite patients had a 5.21-percentage point lower probability of MIS relative to white patients (P < .001). Nonwhite patients in control states had a 1.39-percentage point lower probability of MIS (P = .007). After reform, nonwhite patients in Massachusetts had a 3.71-percentage point increase in the probability of MIS relative to concurrent trends in control states (P = .01). After 2006, measured racial disparities in MIS resolved in Massachusetts, with nonwhite patients having equal probability of MIS relative to white patients (0.06 percentage point greater; P = .96). However, nonwhite patients in control states without health care reform have a persistently lower probability of MIS relative to white patients (3.19 percentage points lower; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The 2006 Massachusetts insurance expansion was associated with an increased probability of nonwhite patients undergoing MIS and resolution of measured racial disparities in MIS.JAMA surgery. 10/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Discrepancies in socioeconomic factors have been associated with higher rates of perforated appendicitis. As an equal-access health care system theoretically removes these barriers, we aimed to determine if remaining differences in demographics, education, and pay result in disparate outcomes in the rate of perforated appendicitis. All patients undergoing appendectomy for acute appendicitis (November 2004-October 2009) at a tertiary care equal access institution were categorized by demographics and perioperative data. Rank of the sponsor was used as a surrogate for economic status. A multivariate logistic regression model was performed to determine patient and clinical characteristics associated with perforated appendicitis. A total of 680 patients (mean age 30 ± 16 y; 37% female) were included. The majority were Caucasian (56.4% [n = 384]; African Americans 5.6% [n = 38]; Asians 1.9% [n = 13]; and other 48.9% [n = 245]) and enlisted (87.2%). Overall, 6.4% presented with perforation, with rates of 6.6%, 5.8%, and 6.7% (P = 0.96) for officers, enlisted soldiers, and contractors, respectively. There was no difference in perforation when stratified by junior or senior status for either officers or enlisted (9.3% junior versus 4.40% senior officers, P = 0.273; 6.60% junior versus 5.50% senior enlisted, P = 0.369). On multivariate analysis, parameters such as leukocytosis and temperature, as well as race and rank were not associated with perforation (P = 0.7). Only age had a correlation, with individuals aged 66-75 y having higher perforation rates (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.05; P < 0.001). In an equal-access health care system, older age, not socioeconomic factors, correlated with increased appendiceal perforation rates.Journal of Surgical Research 02/2014; · 2.12 Impact Factor