Case Management

News: One in ten hospital admissions is preventable

Case Management Weekly, November 10, 2010

In 2008, one out of every ten hospital stays was potentially preventable, according to a report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The AHRQ analyzed data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project using its Prevention Quality Indicators (PQI) to identify cases where the admission could have been prevented. The PQIs are a set of measures that can be used with hospital inpatient discharge data to identify quality of care for conditions for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization, or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease.

The AHRQ also sorted the data according to gender, income, payer, location, and age. The following are highlights from the study:

  • Potentially preventable acute conditions accounted for 3.9% of all hospital stays, and potentially preventable chronic conditions accounted for 6.2%.
  • The majority (60%) of potentially preventable hospital stays were for patients age 65 and older.
  • Potentially preventable stays for acute conditions made up 3.4% of all urban hospital stays and 7.0% of all rural hospital stays.
  • Hospital stays for patients living in the poorest communities were more likely to be potentially preventable (11.7%) than were stays for patients living in the wealthiest communities (8.1%).
  • Nearly 10% of all uninsured stays were for potentially preventable conditions compared to 5.4% for privately insured or Medicaid-covered stays.
  • Males were more likely than females to be hospitalized for a potentially preventable chronic condition (6.8% of male stays, 5.8% of female stays) and less likely to be hospitalized for a potentially preventable acute condition (3.6% of male stays, 4.0% of female stays).
Source: AHRQ

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