Health  Vol.8 No.10 , July 2016
Association between Geographic Accessibility of Home Care Clinics and Hospitalization in Japan Using Geographic Information Systems and Insurance Claim Data
Abstract: Measuring and improving home care clinic resource volume and geographic allocation are an important public health issue regarding prolonging home care system usage among disabled elderly people. This study examined clinic volume and accessibility’s association with hospitalization duration among disabled elderly people in 13 municipalities in Japan; additionally, this study compared clinic volume and accessibility’s ability to explain hospitalization duration in this population. Home care clinics’ service volume and geographic accessibility were calculated for 17 municipalities using public data and geographic information systems. We analyzed medical claim data from October 2012; the sample included 22,662 persons who were aged ≥75 years, certified as disabled in daily living, and lived in 13 municipalities regarding which data could be obtained for all examined municipality characteristics. Multilevel logistic models with random intercepts were constructed for municipalities and individual- and municipality-level independent variables in order to examine home care clinic volume and accessibility’s correlation with hospitalization duration. Clinic volume ranged from 0 to 9.53 per 10,000 elderly people; clinic accessibility ranged from 0% to 83%. Clinic volume and accessibility were both significantly negatively correlated with hospitalization duration of ≥10 days (odds ratios, 0.944 and 0.713; confidence intervals, 0.914 - 0.974 and 0.553 - 0.921, respectively). Clinics were not homogeneously geographically distributed; clinic accessibility explained hospitalization duration better than clinic volume. Clinic accessibility may more accurately indicate care clinic allocation appropriateness than clinic volume.
Cite this paper: Naruse, T. , Matsumoto, H. , Yamamoto, N. and Nagata, S. (2016) Association between Geographic Accessibility of Home Care Clinics and Hospitalization in Japan Using Geographic Information Systems and Insurance Claim Data. Health, 8, 986-993. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.810102.

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