Rates of Avoidable Hospitalization by Insurance Status in Massachusetts and Maryland

Joel S. Weissman, PhD; Constantine Gatsonis, PhD; Arnold M. Epstein, MD, MA
JAMA. 1992;268(17):2388-2394. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490170060026.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To determine whether uninsured and Medicaid patients have higher rates of avoidable hospitalizations than do insured patients.

Design.  —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.

Setting.  —Nonfederal acute care hospitals in Massachusetts and Maryland. Patients.—All patients under 65 years of age who were uninsured, privately insured, or insured by Medicaid. Hospitalizations for obstetric and psychiatric conditions were excluded.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Relative risk of admission for 12 avoidable hospital conditions (AHCs) identified by a physician panel.

Results.  —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.

Conclusion.  —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.(JAMA. 1992;268:2388-2394)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.