The Italian National Health System provides universal coverage an

The Italian National Health System provides universal coverage and is structured on three organizational levels: the central (the Ministry of Health), the regional and the local levels. At the local level, the Local Health Agency (LHA) provides both

outpatient and inpatient care. In Italy, hospital services providers are paid on a fee-for-service basis, which is directly related to a system of Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGs), for in-patient activities and through various mechanisms for some out-patient services (e.g. hospital day-care). Primary care and other out-patient services are based on a co-payment system for drugs, laboratory tests and any services provided to patients affected by chronic diseases. The BLHADB is Selleck Talazoparib a comprehensive and integrated information system including several databases tracking information for each individual using medical services in the catchment area. Data describe the type of health services and distinguish facilities as in-patient, out-patient, residential senior care and residential psychiatric care. Health resource utilization is further broken down

into specialist consultations, drug prescriptions, laboratory analyses, imaging, etc. The BLHADB uses the International Classification of Disease 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) [9] to track hospital admissions and associated diagnoses. Diagnoses of chronic diseases and associated health care utilization in those patients who Osimertinib concentration have

never been admitted to the hospital are tracked by the BLHADB through a nationally standardized coding system assigned by the specialist or the general practitioner. Under Italian law, citizens and legal EU residents whose chronic condition is certified by a medical practitioner receive free access to health care. In this analysis we identified C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR-7) 15 families of chronic diseases using a set of ICD9-CM codes (see Appendix S1). Prescription of specific drugs is monitored by the BLHADB for each individual using the Anatomic and Therapeutic Chemical Classification (ATC) [10]. Each individual’s consumption of drugs was converted into a total number of daily defined doses (DDDs), defined by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics and Methodology [11]. Drug consumption data presented in DDDs provide a rough estimate of consumption and not an exact picture of each patient’s actual use. The advantage of DDDs is that they provide a fixed unit of measurement independent of price and formulation that enables the researcher to assess trends in drug consumption and to perform comparisons between population groups.

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