The City of Oulu: Heavy users of social and health care services, 2012-2013

The project’s aim was to examine the social and health care costs in the City of Oulu, and their distribution among the different population groups. The project showed that 10% of the inhabitants account for 81% of the social and health care expenditures.

The most expensive 10% of the population was segmented into following categories based on the use of services: elderly service customers, disability service customers, child welfare customers, substance abuse service customers, psychiatric service customers, diabetics and heart and vascular disease patients, and customers in specialised somatic health care. The groups were then analysed further to examine which other services they use, and what are the total costs of the services. The number of service concepts used by the heavy users and the share of the costs caused in the each service group by the heavy users were also analysed. The analysis revealed that, on an average, these heavy users use four different service concepts as opposed to the one used by others.

In conclusion, it was stated that while the current silo-like service system works well for 90% of the population, for the heavy users it doesn’t fit. As an outcome of the project, the City of Oulu plans a customer steering and care management model for the heavy service users. The aim is to appoint a designated person to look after care of each heavy user, and in the long run, develop information systems that support the recognition and management of the heavy users.

The results of the project were published by NHG and the City of Oulu in Suomen Lääkärilehti (The Finnish Medical Journal) 48/2013: ”Paljon sosiaali- ja terveyspalveluja käyttävät asukkaat Oulussa” (Social and health service users in the City of Oulu).