A window on regional variation in healthcare: insights from EuroHOPE

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Heijink R, Engelfriet P, Rehnberg C, Kittelsen SAC, Häkkinen U




Health Economics

24(Suppl. 2): 164–177

Sammendrag (engelsk)

The aim of EuroHOPE was to provide new evidence on the performance of healthcare systems, using a disease-based approach, linkable patient-level data and internationally standardized methods. This paper summarizes its main results. In the seven EuroHOPE countries, the Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), stroke and hip fracture patient populations were similar with regard to age, sex and comorbidity. However, non-negligible geographic variation in mortality and resource use was found to exist. Survival rates varied to similar extents between countries and regions for AMI, stroke, hip fracture and very low birth weight. Geographic variation in length of stay differed according to type of disease. Regression analyses showed that only a small part of geographic variation could be explained by demand and supply side factors. Furthermore, the impact of these factors varied between countries. The findings show that there is room for improvement in performance at all levels of analysis and call for more in-depth disease-based research. In using international patient-level data and a standardized methodology, the EuroHOPE approach provides a promising stepping-stone for future investigations in this field. Still, more detailed patient and provider information, including outside of hospital care, and better data sharing arrangements are needed to reach a more comprehensive understanding of geographic variations in health care.


performance measurement; healthcare system; acute care practice; geographic variation; health outcomes


C60 D24 H21 L89

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: NFR via NTNU
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.: 214338
Frisch prosjekt: 4115 - The effect of DRG-based financing on hospital