A financial analysis of additional and earlier allied health input, across seven days, in orthogeriatric, stroke and rehabilitation services.

Amy Ross1, Catherine Turnbull2, Gill Norrington3, Karen Grimmer4, Asterie Twizeyemariya4

1Office for Professional Leadership, Allied and Scientific Health Office, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 5, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA, 5000. amy.ross2@sa.gov.au

2Office for Professional Leadership, Allied and Scientific Health Office, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 5, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA 5000. catherine.turnbull2@sa.gov.au

3 People and Culture, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 7, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA  5000. gill.norrington@sa.gov.au

4International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, P4-18C, UniSA City East Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000. Phone: (08) 8302 2769 / 0417 841 184.

Background

SA Health is undergoing transformation, with new evidence-based models of care being developed to ensure consistent, quality care is provided in the future. Based on evidence on the benefit of allied health service provision across seven days in the acute and sub-acute setting, allied health resource requirements and the cost benefit ratio to deliver new models of care are being considered.

Aim

The project aimed to undertake a financial analysis on the cost and benefit of additional and earlier allied health input across seven days, in the acute setting, for allied health professions of dietetics and nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, social work and speech pathology, for orthogeriatric, stroke and rehabilitation (general inpatient) services.

Method

An algorithm was developed to determine the potential length of stay (LOS) day savings associated with additional allied health input across seven days to deliver the new models of care. This was based on a systematic review (37 articles) undertaken by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence to identify the outcomes of early and/or intensive allied health care therapy/rehabilitation on length of acute and sub-acute hospital stay, and patient function. A benefit cost ratio was calculated based on the additional cost requirements and resultant estimated LOS day savings achieved.

Results

The financial analysis estimated that through additional and earlier allied health input across seven days to support patient recovery, prevent patient deterioration and facilitate earlier discharge, a combined benefit cost ratio of 2.52 may be achieved.

Conclusion

Continued patient recovery and prevention of any deterioration will ensure timely or earlier discharge. Allied health can contribute significantly to this goal, if correctly resourced allied health services are available to the right patients at the right time. The additional benefit is the financial contribution allied health can make though effective and efficient service delivery resulting in $2.52 savings for every $1 invested into allied health

References

Full reference list available on request.