Case-Mix and Quality Indicators in Chinese Elder Care Homes: Are There Differences Between Government-Owned and Private-Sector Facilities?
ObjectivesTo assess the association between ownership of Chinese elder care facilities and their performance quality and to compare the case-mix profile of residents and facility characteristics in government-owned and private-sector homes. DesignCross-sectional study. SettingCensus of elder care homes surveyed in Nanjing (2009) and Tianjin (2010). ParticipantsElder care facilities located in urban Nanjing (n=140, 95% of all) and urban Tianjin (n= 157, 97% of all). MeasurementsA summary case-mix index based on activity of daily living (ADL) limitations and cognitive impairment was created to measure levels of care needs of residents in each facility. Structure, process, and outcome measures were selected to assess facility-level quality of care. A structural quality measure, understaffing relative to resident levels of care needs, which indicates potentially inadequate staffing given resident case-mix, was also developed. ResultsGovernment-owned homes had significantly higher occupancy rates, presumably reflecting popular demand for publicly subsidized beds, but served residents who, on average, have fewer ADL and cognitive functioning limitations than those in private-sector facilities. Across a range of structure, process, and outcome measures of quality, there is no clear evidence suggesting advantages or disadvantages of either ownership type, although when staffing-to-resident ratio is gauged relative to resident case-mix, private-sector facilities were more likely to be understaffed than government-owned facilities. ConclusionIn Nanjing and Tianjin, private-sector homes were more likely to be understaffed, although their residents were sicker and frailer on average than those in government facilities. It is likely that the case-mix differences are the result of selective admission policies that favor healthier residents in government facilities than in private-sector homes