A study led by researchers from McMaster and Simon Fraser universities says Canadians should be concerned about federal and provincial policymakers' increasing interest in adopting activity-based funding (ABF) of hospitals. This leads, they say, to a "sicker and quicker" discharge of patients from hospitals.
Published in PLOS ONE, the study reveals a 24 per cent increase in discharge from hospitals to post-acute services after implementing ABF. More patients were discharged to community-based providers, such as convalescent care, long-term care, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities and homecare.
"Governments implementing ABF in hospitals need to watch out for increasing burden on post-acute services, particularly home care," said co-investigator Gordon Guyatt, the study's senior author, a physician and professor of McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "If they don't make sure the funding is available, patients could suffer."
A McMaster researcher is one of four scientists raising the issue that Ebola may be silently immunizing large numbers of people, who never fall ill or infect others yet become protected from future infection. Their letter was published today in the medical journal The Lancet.
If true, this finding could have significant ramifications for both projections of how widespread the disease will be, and strategies policy makers and health workers should use to contain the disease, say the authors.
"Although resources on the ground are scarce, now is the best time to learn more about immunity to Ebola, and the sooner we know the sooner the knowledge can be used to stop the epidemic," said Jonathan Dushoff, an associate professor of biology and an investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.