The effect of patient, provider and financing regulations on the intensity of ambulatory physical therapy episodes: a multilevel analysis based on routinely available data

TitreThe effect of patient, provider and financing regulations on the intensity of ambulatory physical therapy episodes: a multilevel analysis based on routinely available data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHalfon, P, Eggli, Y, Morel, Y, Taffé, P
JournalBMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
Volume15
DOI10.1186/s12913-015-0686-6
ISSN1472-6963
Mots-clésCrossed random effects, Episodes of care, Explained variation, Multilevel models, Physical therapy
Abstract

Background: Many studies have found considerable variations in the resource intensity of physical therapy episodes. Although they have identified several patient-and provider-related factors, few studies have examined their relative explanatory power. We sought to quantify the contribution of patients and providers to these differences and examine how effective Swiss regulations are (nine-session ceiling per prescription and bonus for first treatments). Methods: Our sample consisted of 87,866 first physical therapy episodes performed by 3,365 physiotherapists based on referrals by 6,131 physicians. We modeled the number of visits per episode using a multilevel log linear regression with crossed random effects for physiotherapists and physicians and with fixed effects for cantons. The three-level explanatory variables were patient, physiotherapist and physician characteristics. Results: The median number of sessions was nine (interquartile range 6-13). Physical therapy use increased with age, women, higher health care costs, lower deductibles, surgery and specific conditions. Use rose with the share of nine-session episodes among physiotherapists or physicians, but fell with the share of new treatments. Geographical area had no influence. Most of the variance was explained at the patient level, but the available factors explained only 4% thereof. Physiotherapists and physicians explained only 6% and 5% respectively of the variance, although the available factors explained most of this variance. Regulations were the most powerful factors. Conclusion: Against the backdrop of abundant physical therapy supply, Swiss financial regulations did not restrict utilization. Given that patient-related factors explained most of the variance, this group should be subject to closer scrutiny. Moreover, further research is needed on the determinants of patient demand.

WOS ID (UT)

 ISI:000349185700001

Citation Key / SERVAL ID5797
                         

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