Population aging requires new strategies for the evaluation and care of different elderly groups. The aim of this study was to present a single entry point model for health care to the elderly in a health maintenance organization. The model prioritizes care for individuals at greatest risk, defining the groups followed subsequently under a specific program for prevention and care. Telephone interviews were used to evaluate the probability of hospitalization for 2,637 users of the health plan. 53.9% of the individuals who were contacted agreed to participate in the survey, and an index was calculated to estimate the probability of hospitalization. 3.23% of subjects were classified as high risk, 7.23% as medium-high risk, and 13.4% as medium risk. Subsequent prioritization of care was based on this stratification. The model will enable improved planning and definition of priorities for resource allocation within a health care system subject to serious funding limitations. Studies that identify criteria for the distribution of health care resources are thus essential to the success of consistent and realistic health policies for the elderly.
Aged; Hospitalization; Supplemental Health