A projection based on big data reveals an alarming expected growth in primary health care costs


Oy Medfiles Ltd performed an analysis based on 1,55 million patient contacts, together with Central Finland Health Care District and Proper Oy. The data combined with the population forecasts reveals substantial growth pressure in primary health care costs. The study utilized primary and secondary health care data from year 2013. The data contains public health care events, and excludes private sector services.

Ageing of the population has a substantial effect on the increase of health care costs. Aged population needs more public health care services, which links also to higher costs in older age groups – especially in primary health care. The average annual costs in primary health care varied between 346€ – 5645€ across the different ages. Even if the costs would remain at their current level, the increasing number of the aged citizens leads to increasing need of health care services, and costs. Assessment of the level of services needed in the future is an essential step in an attempt to effectively allocate health care resources.

Based on the recent estimates the cost pressure in health care is substantial. Specialized health care is, and will be, more costly than primary health care. However, the costs are rising more rapidly in primary health care.

In the year 2025 the costs are expected to be 21% and 14% higher compared to year 2013 in primary and secondary health care, respectively.

The study was presented in November at the European pharmacoeconomics congress in Milan. In the event, results from approximately 2400 pharmacoeconomic studies were presented. The study based on Central Finland Health Care District data received a Poster finalist award. The study author, Timo Purmonen, works as the Director of Health economics at Oy Medfiles Ltd

The study can be accessed here: http://www.ispor.org/research_pdfs/51/pdffiles/PHP86.pdf

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