Relevance of outlier cases in case mix systems and evaluation of trimming methods

Cots, Francesc; Elvira, David; Castells, Xavier; Sáez, Marc; Sáez, Marc
February 2003
Health Care Management Science;Feb2003, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
journal article
Objectives: To determine the most appropriate outlier trimming method when the main source of information for case mix classification is length of stay (LOS) because cost information is unavailable.Methods: Discharges (35,262) from two public hospitals were analysed. LOS and cost outliers were calculated using different trimming methods. The agreement between cost and LOS trimming was analysed.Results: The trimming method using the geometric mean with two standard deviations (GM2) showed the highest level of agreement between cost and LOS and revealed the greatest proportion of extreme costs. Nearly 5% of cases were outliers, containing 16% of total LOS. This was the best approximation to 18% of extreme cost because when GM2 was applied to LOS, 88% of outlier cost was revealed.Conclusions: The methods were analysed because they are the most frequently used but the same methodology could be employed to compare other outlier determination methods. Outliers should be calculated because they ought to be valued differently from inlier cases.


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