Summer Student Research Report - Oliver Scott
Costs of inpatient hospitalisations in the last year of life in older New Zealanders: a cohort study
My research is part of the Life and Living in Advanced Age cohort study in New Zealand. Due to an ageing population globally and in New Zealand, health systems may be challenged by increasing health related needs in this group. Despite this, little is known about Māori and non-Māori of advanced age in New Zealand, even though population predictors estimate a trebling of the number of Māori, and a doubling of the number of non-Māori in the next 10 years.
Health costs for older people are distributed across hospital and community costs and vary considerably. Costs are closely associated with age, and are dominated by the cost made in the last year of life. A high level of healthcare utilisation is common in the last year in life, but the variation in that use has not been sufficiently described.
LiLACs NZ presents an opportunity to examine the amount and variability in end of life costs in both Māori and non-Māori of advanced age in New Zealand. The principal aim of the study is to establish health costs in the 12 months before death in Māori and non-Māori of advanced age in New Zealand, and to establish the primary correlates of high costs.
Rapidly ageing populations means that many people now die in advanced age. This paper investigated public hospital and long-term care home costs in the 12 months before death in Māori and non-Māori of advanced age in New Zealand.
Data from an existing longitudinal study (LiLACS NZ) was used, in which 937 older New Zealanders were enrolled in 2010. At the time of this study, 213 Māori and 241 non-Māori in the cohort had died. National Health Index numbers were linked to the hospitalisation National Minimum Dataset to ascertain public hospitalisation and care home costs in the last year of life.
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