Healthcare costs and productivity losses associated with county-based home-care service for sick children in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims: The aim of this study was to estimate the healthcare costs and productivity losses associated with county-based home-care services (HCS) for sick children. Methods: In this observational follow-up study, a combination of hospital care and HCS was compared to estimated alternative care solely at the hospital. Data on one year of healthcare utilisation for 32 children, supplied by the hospital and HCS, were collected from administrative systems. Corresponding healthcare unit prices were collected from healthcare pricelists. The human-capital approach was applied to estimate productivity losses and the value of productivity losses for 25 parents. Family characteristics, including parental work absenteeism and income, were collected by a questionnaire distributed to parents at five time points during a year. Descriptive and comparative statistics were used for analysis and carried out with ethical approval. Results: Healthcare costs for children receiving a combination of hospital care and HCS varied among children with estimated average healthcare cost savings of SEK 50 101 per child compared to the alternative of care provided only in the hospital. The reduced costs were related to children receiving nonpalliative HCS care tasks. Average annual productivity losses due to parental work absenteeism were estimated at 348 hours with an associated monetary value estimated at SEK 137 524 per parent. Conclusion: County-based HCS, provided as complement to and substitute for hospital care for ill children, does not increase healthcare cost and should be a prioritized area when organising paediatric health care. Productivity losses vary greatly among parents and are pronounced also when children receive HCS with signs of gender-related differences.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


  • child, healthcare costs, home-care service, opportunity costs, paediatric, productivity losses
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1062
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number4
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec
Publication categoryResearch