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Predicting Elderly at Risk of Increased Future Healthcare Use: Does Diagnostic Information Add to Prior Utilization

Rakovski C, Berlowitz D, Wang F, Lucove J, Rosen A. Predicting Elderly at Risk of Increased Future Healthcare Use: Does Diagnostic Information Add to Prior Utilization. Paper presented at: Health Policy Research Annual International Conference; 2002 Mar 14; Boston, MA.


We determined whether case-mix information from administrative data can identify those likely to be high users of healthcare in the following year. An individual's healthcare utilization equaled the number of days (between 1 and 365) during the year on which an individual received inpatient or outpatient services. A binary outcome was defined as using 92 days or more (i.e., being in the top 2%) in year two. We included case-mix data in the models from two risk adjustment systems, Adjusted Diagnostic Groups (ADGs) from Adjusted Clinical Groups and Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCGs) from Diagnostic Cost Groups. We examined three types of logistic regression models: 1) prior use models (year one utilization plus age and sex), 2) diagnostic models (HCGs and ADGs as dummy variables plus age and sex), and 3) combined models (prior use plus diagnostic models). For the best models, we examined receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. We also fit linear regression models and compared their sensitivity and specificity to the logistic models.Although diagnostic and prior use models performed comparably, the best models combined prior use and diagnostic information. Logistic and linear regression models discriminated between cases similarly. While prior utilization has traditionally been the best predictor of future use, we found that case-mix information may be as important as prior use to identify those who may be the highest users of healthcare in the future.

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