OHS Releases Healthcare Facilities and Services Plan
Biennial Report Aggregates Health Data From Across Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) – Today, the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) released its 2018 Statewide Healthcare Facilities and Services Plan, a report that is prepared every two years by the Health Systems Planning Unit and identifies use trends related to hospital inpatient and emergency department care, preventable hospitalization, and outpatient surgical care.
OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri said, “Strong health policy depends on good data; this report helps policymakers understand where we are now and how future legislative and regulatory decisions can make healthcare more accessible, more equitable, and more affordable. We cannot draw conclusions from this data alone—it isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ news, but it does help us identify cost drivers, such as overuse of emergency departments, and provides insight into how residents use healthcare in Connecticut.”
Highlights of the full report, which was sent to the General Assembly’s Public Health and Human Services Committees as required by statute, include data trends showing:
- Hospital inpatient days are declining, down more than 118,000 in 2017 from 2013;
- Government payers (primarily Medicaid and Medicare) consistently accounted for two-thirds of hospital discharges in that 5-year time period;
- Hospital emergency department visits are down over 100,000 in 2017 from 2013;
- Preventable hospitalizations remained stable over the past two years; they account for more than $1.5B in charges with Medicare being the primary payer; and
- For adults, heart failure is the top preventable hospitalization condition, for kids it is asthma.
The report also provides information related to opioids:
- Opioid-related inpatient hospital use was down slightly from 2016 to 2017;
- Opioid-related emergency department visits rose slightly in that same time period;
- White non-Hispanic residents make up the majority of opioid-related emergency department visits with Medicaid being the primary payer.
In October 2015, the federal Department of Health and Human Services required providers to transition to an updated coding and classification system for illness and disease, including opioid use. These changes were made in the official International Classification of Disease system (ICD) to deliver better accuracy on patient status and treatment, provide more specific data for claims processing, and improve public health tracking. The expansion of clinical codes is cited as a possible cause for a significant uptick in opioid-related emergency department numbers in Connecticut between 2015-2016. The National Institute of Health has additional opioid prescription and trend data for Connecticut.
The report uses a combination of sources including data submitted to OHS through the regulatory Certificate of Need process, hospital utilization and financial data reported annually to OHS, and Connecticut Hospital Association Emergency Department data.
Contact: Juliet Manalan
Communications Director, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy
450 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106