Impact of specialist rehabilitation services on hospital length of stay and associated costs

from The European Journal of Health Economics at on December 27, 2017 at 04:54PM



Provision of specialist rehabilitation services in North Yorkshire and Humberside may be suboptimal. Local commissioning bodies need to prioritise investments in health care, but previous studies provide limited evidence to inform the decision to expand existing services on the basis of cost-effectiveness. We examine the impact of specialist rehabilitation services in the subregion on hospital length of stay (LoS) and associated costs compared to routine care.


Comparison of hospital LoS and associated costs in centres with greater access (Hull) and limited access (i.e. routine care, York and Northern Lincolnshire), to specialist rehabilitation services for patients with complex disabilities following illness or injury, using Hospital Episodes Statistics data.


Average LoS and duration costs by Healthcare Resource Group (HRG) were lower for the majority of patients with greater access to specialist rehabilitation compared to routine care. Difference in LoS between groups widened with level of complexity within each HRG. For the more frequent HRG codes, the LoS difference was as high as 34 days longer for York compared to Hull and £7900 more costly.


Rehabilitation patients within York and Northern Lincolnshire areas appear to have longer LoS and higher associated costs compared to those admitted to the Hull Trust. This analysis suggests that specialist rehabilitation may be cost saving compared to routine care and supports the case for expansion of the existing services to improve coverage in the area.