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      Multiple hospitalizations for patients with diabetes.

      Diabetes Care
      Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Continental Population Groups, Costs and Cost Analysis, Demography, Diabetes Mellitus, economics, therapy, Ethnic Groups, Female, Hospitalization, statistics & numerical data, Humans, Infant, Inpatients, Male, Maryland, Middle Aged, Rural Population, Socioeconomic Factors, Urban Population

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          Abstract

          To describe the extent to which hospitalizations for patients with diabetes reflect multiple stays by the same individuals and to examine how multiple hospitalizations vary by patient demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project complete discharge data for five states (California, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia) in 1999, we identified 648,748 nonneonatal, nonmaternal patients who had one or more hospitalizations listing diabetes. Multiple hospitalizations were measured as percent of patients with multiple stays, percent of total stays represented by multiple stays, and average number of stays per patient. Total hospital costs were also examined. Stratified analysis and regression were performed to assess differences by age, sex, race/ethnicity, payer, location, and income. Among patients with diabetes who had been hospitalized, 30% had two or more stays accounting for >50% of total hospitalizations and hospital costs. Controlled for patient age, sex, and clinical characteristics, the likelihood of having multiple hospitalizations was higher for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks compared with non-Hispanic whites, as well as for patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid and those living in low-income areas. The prevalence of diabetes complications and multiple conditions differed by age, race/ethnicity, and payer among patients with multiple stays. Multiple hospitalizations are common among patients with diabetes but vary by age, race/ethnicity, payer, and income, with those populations traditionally considered to be more vulnerable experiencing higher likelihoods of multiple stays. Significant opportunities exist to reduce the proportion of multiple hospitalizations for patients with diabetes. Clinical and policy interventions to improve the quality of care and outcomes for these patients should be designed accordingly and have the potential to pay major dividends.

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          Impact of socioeconomic status on hospital use in New York City

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            Rates of avoidable hospitalization by insurance status in Massachusetts and Maryland.

            To determine whether uninsured and Medicaid patients have higher rates of avoidable hospitalizations than do insured patients. We used 1987 computerized hospital discharge data to select a cross-sectional sample of hospitalized patients. Population estimates from the Current Population Survey were used to estimate rates of admission, standardized for age and sex. Nonfederal acute care hospitals in Massachusetts and Maryland. All patients under 65 years of age who were uninsured, privately insured, or insured by Medicaid. Hospitalizations for obstetric and psychiatric conditions were excluded. Relative risk of admission for 12 avoidable hospital conditions (AHCs) identified by a physician panel. Uninsured and Medicaid patients were more likely than insured patients to be hospitalized for AHCs. Rates for uninsured patients were significantly greater than for privately insured patients in Massachusetts for 10 of 12 individual AHCs, and in Maryland for five of 12 AHCs. After adjustment for baseline utilization, the results were statistically significant for 10 of 12 AHCs in Massachusetts and seven of 12 AHCs in Maryland. For Medicaid patients, rates were significantly greater than for privately insured patients for all AHCs in each state before adjustment, and for nine of 12 and seven of 12 AHCs in each state, respectively, after adjustment for baseline utilization. Our findings suggest that patients who are uninsured or who have Medicaid coverage have higher rates of hospitalization for conditions that can often be treated out of hospital or avoided altogether. Our approach is potentially useful for routine monitoring of access and quality of care for selected groups of patients.
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              Effect of improved glycemic control on health care costs and utilization.

              Because of the additional costs associated with improving diabetes management, there is interest in whether improved glycemic control leads to reductions in health care costs, and, if so, when such cost savings occur. To determine whether sustained improvements in hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) levels among diabetic patients are followed by reductions in health care utilization and costs. Historical cohort study conducted in 1992-1997 in a staff-model health maintenance organization (HMO) in western Washington State. All diabetic patients aged 18 years or older who were continuously enrolled between January 1992 and March 1996 and had HbA(1c) measured at least once per year in 1992-1994 (n = 4744). Patients whose HbA(1c) decreased 1% or more between 1992 and 1993 and sustained the decline through 1994 were considered to be improved (n = 732). All others were classified as unimproved (n = 4012). Total health care costs, percentage hospitalized, and number of primary care and specialty visits among the improved vs unimproved cohorts in 1992-1997. Diabetic patients whose HbA(1c) measurements improved were similar demographically to those whose levels did not improve but had higher baseline HbA(1c) measurements (10.0% vs 7.7%; P /=10%) for these years but appeared to be unaffected by presence of complications at baseline. Beginning in the year following improvement (1994), utilization was consistently lower in the improved cohort, reaching statistical significance for primary care visits in 1994 (P =.001), 1995 (P<.001), 1996 (P =.005), and 1997 (P =.004) and for specialty visits in 1997 (P =.02). Differences in hospitalization rates were not statistically significant in any year. Our data suggest that a sustained reduction in HbA(1c) level among adult diabetic patients is associated with significant cost savings within 1 to 2 years of improvement.
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