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The suitability of a DRG casemix system in the Maltese hospital setting

Camilleri, C., Jofre-Bonet, M. & Serra-Sastre, V. ORCID: 0000-0002-6329-4507 (2018). The suitability of a DRG casemix system in the Maltese hospital setting. Health Policy, doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.08.002


The healthcare system in Malta is financed through global budgets and healthcare is provided free at the point of use. This paper is a first attempt to examine the feasibility of introducing a Diagnosis Related Groups casemix system for Malta, not necessarily for payment and funding purposes, but as a tool to help describe, manage and measure resource use. This is particularly challenging in view of the constraints and characteristics of a small state country. The study evaluates the applicability of the MS-DRG (Version 27.0) Grouper to describe acute hospital activity on the island. The classification of 151,615 admissions between 2009-2011 resulted in 636 DRG categories. Around half of these DRGs accounted for 99% of the total activity at the hospital, while 296 DRG categories had fewer than 15 cases over the period. Patient length of stay is used to explain resource use and the Coefficient of Multiple Determination obtained was of 0.19 (improving to 0.25 when a number of trimming algorithms were applied). A good proportion of the resulting DRGs had a Coefficient of Variation, which indicates a low degree of variability within the obtained DRG groups. This presents good evidence to support the introduction of a DRG system in Malta particularly in view of the recent drive towards more public-private partnerships and legislation on cross-border patient treatment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Casemix, DRGs, Hospital, Length of stay, Malta
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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