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Case-mix classification and payment systems help assure that persons with similar needs receive similar amounts of care resources, which is a major equity concern for consumers, providers, and programs. Although health service programs for adults regularly use case-mix payment systems, programs providing health services to children and youth rarely use such models. This research utilized Medicaid home care expenditures and assessment data on 2,578 children receiving home care in one large state in the USA. Using classification and regression tree analyses, a case-mix model for long-term pediatric home care was developed. The Pediatric Home Care/Expenditure Classification Model (P/ECM) grouped children and youth in the study sample into 24 groups, explaining 41% of the variance in annual home care expenditures. The P/ECM creates the possibility of a more equitable, and potentially more effective, allocation of home care resources among children and youth facing serious health care challenges.
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