Hip fractures represent major critical events for older people, and put huge demands on economic and personnel resources. Most hip fracture patients are in need of postoperative rehabilitation services. Through the Coordination Reform, the municipalities in Norway were given increased responsibility for community-based treatment and rehabilitation after surgery. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between municipal resources and patient outcomes through the first year after a hip fracture, focusing on survival and health-related quality of life.
We conducted a nationwide cohort study on people experiencing a hip fracture in 2011-2012 in Norway, with a 1-year follow-up. We obtained data on date of hip fracture, demographics, total morbidity (ASA) score, health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3 L), date of death if applicable, municipality of residence (Norwegian Hip Fracture Register), date of hospital readmission due to complications (Norwegian Patient Register), and information on municipalities' characteristics (Municipality-State-Reporting).
The study population comprised 15,757 patients, mean age 80.8 years, 68.6% women. All-cause mortality was 8.6% at 30 days, and 25.3% at 12 months. Mortality was lower in the municipalities with the highest overall staff time for rehabilitation. A high proportion of the population aged 80+, was associated with low rates of self-reported anxiety/depression 12 months after surgery, as well as higher general health scores (EQ-5D VAS). There were no other differences in outcome according to rehabilitation resources, when comparing municipalities with the highest and lowest staffing.
The study revealed no substantial impact of municipal resources on survival and health-related quality of life through the first year after a hip fracture. To evaluate major organizational changes and allocate resources according to best practice, there is a need to monitor health outcomes and use of resources over time through reliable measures, including variables related to coordination between services.
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Our paper analyzes technical efficiency in the production of aggregate health outcomes of reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy, using Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) health data. Application of data envelopment analysis (DEA) reveals that some countries achieve relative efficiency advantages, including those with good health outcomes (Japan, Sweden, Norway, and Canada) and those with modest health outcomes (Mexico and Turkey). We conclude the USA may learn from countries more economical in their allocation of healthcare resources that more is not necessarily better. Specifically, we find that the USA can substantially reduce inputs while maintaining the current level of life expectancy.