Ambulatory Care Sensitive Hospitalizations among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Chronic Conditions

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Objectives—This study examined the relationship between ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations (ACSH) and patient-level and county-level variables. Methods—Utilizing a retrospective cohort approach, multi-state Medicaid claims data from 2007-2008 was used to examine ACSH at baseline and follow-up periods. The study cohort consisted of adult, non-elderly Medicaid beneficiaries with chronic physical conditions, who were continuously enrolled in fee-for-service programs, not enrolled in Medicare, and did not die during the study period (N=7,021). The dependent variable, ACSH, was calculated in the follow-up year using an algorithm from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality algorithm. Patient-level (demographic, health status, continuity of care) and county-level (density of healthcare providers and facilities, socio-economic characteristics, local economic conditions) factors were included as independent variables. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between ACSH and independent variables. Results—In this study population, 8.2% had an ACSH. African-Americans were more likely to have an ACSH [AOR=1.55, 95% CI 1.16, 2.07] than Caucasians. Adults with schizophrenia were more likely to have an ACSH, compared to those without schizophrenia [AOR=1.54, 95% CI 1.16, 2.04]. Residents in counties with a higher number of community mental health centers [AOR=0.88, 95% CI 0.80, 0.97] and rural health centers [AOR=0.98, 95% CI 0.95, 0.99] were less likely to have an ASCH. Conclusions—Programs and interventions designed to reduce the risk of ACSH may be needed to target specific population subgroups and improve healthcare infrastructure.