Special Report from the CDCHealthcare utilization and costs among older adult female drivers and former drivers☆☆☆★
Review articleOpen access

AbstractPurposeThis study compared the healthcare utilization and costs for specific types of medical services among older adult women who currently drive and those who no longer drive.MethodsThis study included 347 women aged 65 or older who were either former (had stopped driving) or current drivers, randomly sampled from a large U.S. health plan to participate in a telephone survey, and who had automated health records with healthcare utilization and cost data. Bivariate analyses and generalized linear modeling were used to examine associations between driving status and healthcare utilization and costs.ResultsAdjusting for age, income, and marital status, former drivers were more likely than current drivers to use mental health care services (RR = 3.37; 95% CI: 1.03, 10.98). Former drivers also tended to use more inpatient (RR = 1.85; 95% CI: 0.88, 3.87) and emergency services (RR = 1.89; 95% CI: 0.96, 3.70), but results did not reach statistical significance. Total annual healthcare costs in 2005 were almost twice as high for former drivers compared with current drivers ($13,046 vs. $7,054; mean difference = $5,992; 95% CI: -$360, $12,344), although this relationship was not statistically significant (CR = 1.61; 95% CI: 0.88, 2.96).Impact on IndustryFormer drivers were more than three times as likely as current drivers to use mental health services, and tended to use more emergency and inpatient services. Further research on factors that potentially mediate the relationship between driving status and health service use is warranted.

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