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Preventable Hospitalizations Vary Widely by Region, AHRQ Analysis Finds

Issue 452
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
December 16, 2014

Editor's Note: The next issue of the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter will be published January 6, 2015. Happy Holidays!

AHRQ Stats: Government Insurance

Government payers covered 62 percent of the $378 billion aggregate cost of U.S. hospital stays in 2012. Medicare paid 46 percent, and Medicaid paid 16 percent. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #181: Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2012.)

Today's Headlines

  1. Preventable Hospitalizations Vary Widely by Region, AHRQ Analysis Finds.
  2. Phone Outreach Study Finds No Significant Improvement in Diabetes Medication Compliance.
  3. New AHRQ Study Updates Evidence for Treating Head and Neck Cancer.
  4. MONAHRQ 5.0® Update Available; Maryland Implements Tool for Consumer Use.
  5. Register Now for January Online TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer Course.
  6. Abstracts Due January 6 for Academic Pediatric Association 5th Annual QI Research Conference.
  7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. Preventable Hospitalizations Vary Widely by Region, AHRQ Analysis Finds

Rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations in the United States declined 14 percent from 2005 to 2011, but rates varied widely by geographic region, according to a new statistical brief from AHRQ. Potentially preventable hospitalizations are admissions for certain acute illnesses or worsening chronic conditions that may have been avoided with higher-quality outpatient treatment and disease management. Data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project showed that rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations in 2011 were lowest in the West (at 1,220 discharges per 100,000 population) and highest in the South (at 1,845 discharges per 100,000). Hospitals in the South had a 17.2 percent higher rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations than the overall national rate in 2005, but by 2011 it was reduced to 10.5 percent higher than the national rate. The new statistical brief, "Geographic Variation in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Acute and Chronic Conditions, 2005–2011," is authored by Celeste M. Torio, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Roxanne M. Andrews, Ph.D., of AHRQ.

2. Phone Outreach Study Finds No Significant Improvement in Diabetes Medication Compliance

A recent AHRQ-funded study found that patients with diabetes did not improve their medication compliance after a phone call from a diabetes educator or pharmacist. The study, "Randomized Trial of Telephone Outreach To Improve Medication Adherence and Metabolic Control in Adults With Diabetes," was published with an abstract online October 14 in Diabetes Care. The study included 2,378 adults with diabetes mellitus who had recently been prescribed a new class of medication. In a randomized trial, some patients received one scripted telephone call from a diabetes educator or clinical pharmacist to discuss adapting to the new medication. This intervention did not significantly improve medication adherence among patients, regardless of age, sex or race/ethnicity. Because nonadherence to medication is a major obstacle to better control of glucose, blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with diabetes, the study noted, more research is needed to identify effective strategies to increase medication adherence.

3. New AHRQ Study Updates Evidence for Treating Head and Neck Cancer

New research for treating head and neck cancer suggests that there is some evidence for intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) to reduce late xerostomia, or "dry mouth," a serious side effect of cancer radiation, compared with an older radiation therapy technology called three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. The study also found that more research is needed, but significant challenges exist in gathering additional data. According to the study, "Radiotherapy Treatments for Head and Neck Cancer Update," head and neck cancer accounts for approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of cancer in the United States. The new study is an update of a 2010 research review from AHRQ.

4. MONAHRQ 5.0® Update Available; Maryland Implements Tool for Consumer Use

An updated version of AHRQ’s My Own Network powered by AHRQ (MONAHRQ 5.0) software is now available. The update has several enhancements that are based on user feedback, including:

  • Optimized performance for host users who work with large inpatient and emergency department data sets.
  • New data checks to make sure dependent elements are set up correctly so they will work together well in producing the Web site (i.e., "dependency checks").
  • Updates to the host user guide, including a list and description of all dependency checks.
  • More informative alert messages.

MONAHRQ is a free desktop software tool that enables any organization to create a public or private Web site to provide evidence-based health care reports. The tool provides evidence-based reports for consumers, providers, policymakers and others for use in improving health care transparency, safety, quality and affordability. Maryland recently became the 13th state to publish a public report using MONAHRQ and the first to use this new version of the tool. The Maryland Health Care Commission’s Web site allows consumers and other audiences to compare hospital quality ratings across the entire state.

5. Register Now for January Online TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer Course

AHRQ is offering TeamSTEPPS Master Training online as an accredited course for health care professionals interested in improving patient safety and health care quality. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based teamwork approach to improve communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals. The next groups of learners will begin in January, so create an account and begin your pre-course preparation now to ensure you are able to begin with your preferred group. Registration is open.

6. Abstracts Due January 6 for Academic Pediatric Association 5th Annual QI Research Conference

The Academic Pediatric Association (APA) is soliciting abstracts for the 5th Annual Advancing Quality Improvement Science for Children’s Health Care Research Conference on April 24, 2015, in San Diego. Those interested must complete the submission form and send it to the APA via email by 5 p.m. ET January 6, 2015. Authors of the top-scoring abstracts will be invited to present during the closing panel of the conference. The conference, which is partially funded by AHRQ, will focus on methodological and technical issues of major importance in the field of pediatric health care quality improvement research, a leading component of modern health services research. Abstract submission guidelines and more information about the conference are available on the APA Web site.

7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Salinas-Miranda AA, Nash MC, Salemi JL, et al. Cutting-edge technology for public health workforce training in comparative effectiveness research. Health Informatics J 2013 Jun;19(2):101-15. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Pati S, Wong AT, Calixte RE, et al. Medicaid and CHIP retention among children in 12 states. Acad Pediatr 2014 Nov 22. [Epub ahead of print]. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kieckhefer GM, Trahms CM, Churchill SS, et al. A randomized clinical trial of the Building on Family Strengths program: an education program for parents of children with chronic health conditions. Matern Child Health J 2014 Apr;18(3):563-74. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Davidoff AJ, Gardner LD, Zuckerman IH, et al. Validation of disability status, a claims-based measure of functional status for cancer treatment and outcomes studies. Med Care 2014 Jun;52(6):500-10. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Streiff MB, Brady JP, Grant AM, et al. CDC Grand Rounds: preventing hospital-associated venous thromboembolism. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014 Mar 7;63(9):190-3. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Tang JW, Allen N, de Chavez P, et al. Health-care access and weight change among young adults: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Public Health Nutr 2013 Oct;16(10):1796-800. Epub 2012 Aug 16. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Carayon P, Xie A, Kianfar S. Human factors and ergonomics as a patient safety practice. BMJ Qual Saf 2014 Mar;23(3):196-205. Epub 2013 Jun 28. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Nicholas LH. Better quality of care or healthier patients? Hospital utilization by Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service enrollees. Forum Health Econ Policy 2013 May 15;16(1):137-61. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed December 2014
Page originally created December 2014
Internet Citation: Preventable Hospitalizations Vary Widely by Region, AHRQ Analysis Finds. Content last reviewed December 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/452.html

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

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