Gardiner, FW and de Graaff, B and Bishop, L and Campbell, JA and Mealing, S and Coleman, M, Mental health crises in rural and remote Australia: an assessment of direct medical costs of air medical retrievals and the implications for the societal burden, Air Medical Journal, 39, (5) pp. 343-350. ISSN 1067-991X (2020) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2020 Air Medical Journal Associates
Methods: All patients with a primary working diagnosis of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Version, Australian Modification F00 to F99 (mental and behavioral disorders) who underwent an air medical retrieval were included in this cost analysis. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Edition, Australian Modification codes were mapped to Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group codes, with hospital costs applied from the National Hospital Cost Data Collection (2016/2017). All costs are reported in 2017 Australian dollars (AUDs).
Results: One hundred twenty-two primary evacuations and 926 interhospital transfers occurred with an in-flight diagnosis of F00 to F99, most commonly psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and schizotypal disorders. The total direct medical costs were estimated to be AUD $20,070,527. Costs for primary evacuations accounted for 13% (AUD $2,611,260), with the majority of this associated with the subsequent hospital admission (AUD $1,770,139). Similarly, the majority of the costs associated with interhospital transfers (total costs = AUD $17,459,267) were also related to hospital costs (AUD $13,569,187).
Conclusion: Direct medical costs associated with air medical retrievals for people experiencing a mental health crisis are substantial. The majority of costs are associated with hospital admission and treatment; however, the indirect (loss of productivity) and intangible (quality of life) costs are likely to be far greater.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||mental health, economic evaluation, rural and remote, royal flying doctor service,|
|Research Group:||Applied economics|
|Research Field:||Health economics|
|Objective Group:||Evaluation of health and support services|
|Objective Field:||Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified|
|UTAS Author:||de Graaff, B (Dr Barbara de Graaff)|
|UTAS Author:||Campbell, JA (Dr Julie Campbell)|
|Deposited By:||Menzies Institute for Medical Research|
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