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Length of Hospital Stay by Older Australians: Bed-blocking or Not?

Laurie Brown (), Annie Abello () and Linc Thurecht
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Laurie Brown: NATSEM, University of Canberra
Annie Abello: NATSEM, University of Canberra

No 11/08, NATSEM Working Paper Series from University of Canberra, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling

Abstract: Older Australians have more health conditions, have more hospital separations and stay longer in hospital than younger age groups (AIHW 2009). A common perception however is that many older patients are “bed-blockers”, unnecessarily occupying hospital beds as they wait for alternative care such as placement in a residential aged care facility or support at home from family or friends. This study compares the distribution of length of hospital stay (LOS) by those aged 75 years or more with those of the 'younger' older patients (individuals aged 65-74 years) for major diagnostic categories to examine the issue of bed-blocking. The distributional analyses of LOS uses the static microsimulation model 'HospMod' which models public and private in-patient hospital utilisation patterns and costs, taking into consideration variations in population characteristics including age and sex distribution, socioeconomic status, private health insurance coverage and health conditions. The HospMod basefile was constructed initially for 2004-05 using two unit record data sets – a modified version of the 2001 Australian National Health Survey to which variables were added on hospital usage and costs from the 2004-05 National Hospital Morbidity Dataset (NHMD). The model was then up-rated to 2007-08, benchmarking against the national 2007-08 NHMD administrative data.

Keywords: Health; HospMod (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2011-06
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