Inter-Regional Patients' Migration for Hospital Orthopedic Intensive Rehabilitation: The Italian Experience

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 22;19(21):13726. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192113726.


Background: Following the introduction of administrative federalism in the Italian National Health Service, inter-regional patients' mobility has become increasingly relevant because, in addition to being an indirect index of the quality of care, it has important economic and financial implications. This study aimed to evaluate the fulfillment of the need for hospital orthopedic intensive rehabilitation on site and care-seeking patients' migration to other regions.

Methods: From 2011 to 2019, the data of intensive orthopedic rehabilitation extracts from the Hospital Discharge Cards provided by Italian Ministry of Health were analyzed. We studied the hospital networks of every Italian region (catchment areas). The epidemiological flows of inter-regional mobility were analyzed with Gandy's Nomogram, while the financial flows were analyzed through Attraction Absorption and Escape Production Indexes.

Results: Gandy's Nomogram showed that only Piedmont, Lombardy, A.P. of Trento, E. Romagna, Umbria and Abruzzo had good public hospital planning for intensive orthopedic rehabilitation, with a positive balance for all studied periods. Lombardy, E. Romagna, Piedmont, Veneto and Latium have absorbed approximately 70% of all financial flows (about EUR 60.5 million).

Conclusions: Only six regions appear to be able to satisfy the care needs of their residents, with a positive epidemiological and financial balance for all studied periods.

Keywords: GIS; Gandy’s Nomogram; Italian National Health Service; Italian regions; health policy; health services quality and financing; intensive orthopedic rehabilitation; patient’s mobility.

MeSH terms

  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Orthopedics*
  • Rehabilitation*
  • State Medicine*

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.