Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2022
Preventable hospital stays can occur when patients with certain pre-existing conditions are initially seen in an outpatient setting but don’t receive the care they need, leading to unnecessary admissions which can sometimes be lengthy.
To attempt to measure how frequently preventable hospital stays take place in the U.S., our marketing vendors gathered statistics involving the rate of hospital stays for patients with ambulatory-care sensitive conditions per 100,000 Medicare enrollees using countyhealthrankings.org. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSCs) are health conditions-diagnoses for which timely and effective outpatient care can help to reduce the risks of hospitalization by either preventing the onset of an illness or condition, controlling an acute episodic illness or condition, or managing a chronic disease.”
Note while the data was collected in November of 2021, the 2021 County Health Rankings incorporated data from 2018 for this measure.
When it comes to preventable hospital stays, Minnesota ranks highest. Minnesota’s 5,826 per 100,000 at-risk Medicare enrollees are just over 40% more than the 4,134 national average. This is an unexpected finding because the states with the second, third, fourth, and fifth most preventable hospital stays are all in the Southern portion of the US, making Minnesota a regional outlier. The fewest number of preventable hospital stays were found in Hawaii, with an estimated 2,104 preventable hospital stays, or about half of the national average.
Even though the data collected demonstrates that Minnesota showed the highest number of preventable hospital stays across all states nationally, the southern states in the county were next in line. The data collected showed similarities in the statistics across states located in the midwest and northeast (just less than 1,000 preventable stays per 100,000 qualifying individuals separating the two regions). Ultimately, the northeast region of the country showed the most favorable preventable hospital stay ratio.
When comparing the average regional ratios of the northeast and western portions of the country with the midwestern totals, a >60% difference emerged. When comparing the ratios in the midwestern portion of the country to the southern portion, a 30% increase was measured. These findings demonstrate a stark difference between the estimated number of preventable hospital stays across different regions nationally.
We created the above chart to display the numbers state-by-state. Instead of a heat map, each state is listed in order of preventable stays per 100,000 eligible individuals.
While improvements to our nation’s healthcare system happen perpetually over time, some regions of the country appear to be doing better than others for reasons that are likely too complex to consider in this survey result project. Nonetheless, the safest way to ensure that you and your loved ones are receiving optimal care is to seek out help and stay on top of chronic health conditions which require maintenance and attention indefinitely. Stay informed about your health and be on high alert for changes in your own conditions, as these may represent warning signs of bigger problems on the horizon. Finally, if for any reason you or a loved one believe you might have been the victim of medical malpractice, a medical mistake, or medical neglect, our specialized medical malpractice team at Weiss & Paarz can help you figure out whether you might have a claim for compensation. Visit our website to contact us or to learn more.