STATE OF CONNECTICUT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Office of Health Care Access

410 Capitol Avenue

Hartford, CT 06134

Phone (860) 418-7001

Fax (860) 418-7053

Press Release

Contact: William Gerrish

Phone: (860) 509-7270

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 7, 2009

OFFICE OF HEALTH CARE ACCESS RELEASES 2007 PREVENTABLE HOSPITALIZATIONS COSTS AND COUNTY MAPPING

Hartford – in 2007, more than 43,000 hospitalizations of Connecticut residents may have been prevented, according to a report released today by the Department of Public Health Office of Health Care Access. These preventable hospitalizations, instances of inpatient hospital care for illnesses typically treated or managed in outpatient settings, cost the system an estimated $418 million. Evidence suggests that many of these admissions for both chronic diseases and acute conditions could have been avoided, at least in part, with timely and effective ambulatory care.

  

The top four contributors to the total cost to the system from preventable hospitalizations were congestive heart failure ($117.6 million), bacterial pneumonia ($99.6 million), low birth weight ($80.9 million), and diabetes with long-term complications ($41.5 million). Sixty percent of the cost of preventable hospitalizations was associated with treatments for chronic adult diseases, and thirty-nine percent was associated with the treatment of acute adult conditions. DPH’s Preventable Hospitalizations and Associated Costs in Connecticut, 2007 reveals that over one-third of the associated total hospitalization cost was for the treatment of residents of New Haven County, and twenty-six percent and twenty-three percent were for residents of  Hartford and Fairfield Counties, respectively.  These three counties also had the highest preventable hospitalizations admissions rates in the state. 

 

“This report further highlights the chronic and acute health care conditions and geographical locations to target preventive care interventions for improvements in the health status of Connecticut residents and the biggest potential savings,” according to DPH’s Deputy Commissioner Cristine Vogel, M.P.H. “Addressing access to preventive care and reducing the cost of preventable hospitalizations are some of the health care challenges local and state authorities and health care providers face.”

 

In this study of preventable hospitalizations, DPH utilized the new Quality Indicators Mapping Tool (QIMT), developed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality clinical experts. The QIMT allows the agency to map  admission rates for prevention quality indicators (PQI) measures for acute and chronic conditions that could have been effectively treated in the community-based primary care system. It also calculates potential cost savings from reducing these admission rates through effective resource allocation. Among the 19 conditions that DPH studied are pneumonia, congestive heart failure, adult and pediatric asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes-related conditions and low birth weight babies.

 

A companion data book, Preventable Hospitalizations in Connecticut: A Current Assessment of Access to Community Health Services 2004-2008, will be released by DPH in the near future.

 

For a complete report, visit OHCA’s web site www.ct.gov/ohca