Objective: The Italian healthcare jurisdiction promotes patient mobility, which is a major determinant of practice variation, thus being related to the equity of access to health services. We aimed to explore how travel times, waiting times, and other efficiency- and quality-related hospital attributes influenced the hospital choice of women needing pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery in Tuscany, Italy. Methods: We obtained the study population from Hospital Discharge Records. We duplicated individual observations (n = 2533) for the number of Tuscan hospitals that provided more than 30 POP interventions from 2017 to 2019 (n = 22) and merged them with the hospitals' list. We generated the dichotomous variable "hospital choice" assuming the value one when hospitals where patients underwent surgery coincided with one of the 22 hospitals. We performed mixed logit models to explore between-hospital patient choice, gradually adding the women's features as interactions. Results: Patient choice was influenced by travel more than waiting times. A general preference for hospitals delivering higher volumes of interventions emerged. Interaction analyses showed that poorly educated women were less likely to choose distant hospitals and hospitals providing greater volumes of interventions compared to their counterpart. Women with multiple comorbidities more frequently chose hospitals with shorter average length of stay. Conclusion: Travel times were the main determinants of hospital choice. Other quality- and efficiency-related hospital attributes influenced hospital choice as well. However, the effect depended on the socioeconomic and clinical background of women. Managers and policymakers should consider these findings to understand how women behave in choosing providers and thus mitigate equity gaps.

Driving time drives the hospital choice: choice models for pelvic organ prolapse surgery in Italy

Ferrari, Amerigo;Seghieri, Chiara;Simoncini, Tommaso;Vainieri, Milena
2023-01-01

Abstract

Objective: The Italian healthcare jurisdiction promotes patient mobility, which is a major determinant of practice variation, thus being related to the equity of access to health services. We aimed to explore how travel times, waiting times, and other efficiency- and quality-related hospital attributes influenced the hospital choice of women needing pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery in Tuscany, Italy. Methods: We obtained the study population from Hospital Discharge Records. We duplicated individual observations (n = 2533) for the number of Tuscan hospitals that provided more than 30 POP interventions from 2017 to 2019 (n = 22) and merged them with the hospitals' list. We generated the dichotomous variable "hospital choice" assuming the value one when hospitals where patients underwent surgery coincided with one of the 22 hospitals. We performed mixed logit models to explore between-hospital patient choice, gradually adding the women's features as interactions. Results: Patient choice was influenced by travel more than waiting times. A general preference for hospitals delivering higher volumes of interventions emerged. Interaction analyses showed that poorly educated women were less likely to choose distant hospitals and hospitals providing greater volumes of interventions compared to their counterpart. Women with multiple comorbidities more frequently chose hospitals with shorter average length of stay. Conclusion: Travel times were the main determinants of hospital choice. Other quality- and efficiency-related hospital attributes influenced hospital choice as well. However, the effect depended on the socioeconomic and clinical background of women. Managers and policymakers should consider these findings to understand how women behave in choosing providers and thus mitigate equity gaps.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/551591
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