A retrospective audit of population service access trends for cleft lip and cleft palate patients

L.N. Woincham, Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant

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    © BASCD 2015. Population prevalence of orofacial clefts (OFCs) is well documented but the service utilisation patterns of these patients have received limited consideration. Objective: To analyse 10-year trends in the utilisation of subsidised OFC related services in Australia. Design: Retrospective audit of service utilisation and claims datasets. Methods: Using state-wide hospital admission data, all persons treated for Cleft Palate Only (CPO) and Cleft Lip Only (CLO) as their primary diagnosis from 1999 to 2009 in Western Australia were included in the data frameset. Additionally, National Medicare out-of-hospital claims from 2003 to 2013 were added to the data frameset. The socio- economic status and accessibility to services were analysed as effectors of service-mix such as age group, gender and geographic location. Results: Of 721 in-hospital care episodes in Western Australia, 69% had CPO and 31% CLO as their principal diagnosis. Hospitalisations occurred from 0-69 years of age, but three quarters of all episodes occurred from 0-4 years of age (averaging one to two episodes per child). Whilst total hospitalisations were about four times higher for patients resident in high access areas, adjustment for population found the poorest 20% of the population having substantially lower hospital admission rates than the rest of the population. In Australia, claims for out-of-hospital cleft-related services varied between States. The overall pattern of out-of-hospital Medicare claims nationwide showed orthodontic services having the highest number of claims, followed by prosthodontic then oral surgical services. Conclusion: These data provide a picture of diverse service utilisation and leads to some interesting conclusions about geographic and economic access as well as cost-shifts between State and Commonwealth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    JournalCommunity Dental Health
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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