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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


INORIZA, José M. et al. Measurement of morbidity attended in an integrated health care organization. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.1, pp.29-37. ISSN 0213-9111.

Introduction: Understanding the quality, costs and outcomes of healthcare services requires precise determination of the morbidity in a population. Measurement of morbidity in a population and its association with the services provided remains to be performed. The aim of this article was to present our experience of using clinical risk groups (CRGs) to measure morbidity in an integrated healthcare organization (IHO). Methods: We studied the population attended by an IHO in a county (approximately 120,000 patients) from 2002 to 2005. CRGs were used to measure morbidity. A descriptive analysis was performed of the population's distribution in CRG categories and utilization rates. Results: One or more chronic diseases was found in 15.5% of the population, significant acute illness was found in 9%, minor chronic diseases was found in 7% and very severe diseases was found in 0.5%. Between 2002 and 2005, the number of individuals with chronic disease increased by 8%. The burden of illness increased with age. However, at all ages, at least 40% of the population remained healthy. Comorbidity in chronic illnesses was a crucial factor in explaining healthcare resource utilization. Conclusions: The CRG grouping system aids analysis at different levels for clinical administration. Due to its composition, this system allows better understanding of the use, costs and quality of the set of services received by a population.

Keywords : Risk adjustment; Health services research; Chronic diseases; Clinical risk groups; Integrated healthcare organization.

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