Preventable Hospitalizations Down In Missouri

Oct 25, 2013

Missourians have had fewer preventable hospitalizations over the last decade, according to a new report by the Missouri Hospital Association.

The report finds the number of preventable hospitalizations decreased by 19 percent.

MHA spokesperson Dave Dillon said there are a lot of factors that contribute to this decrease, and there are opportunities to reduce it even further.

“If we did things like decrease the number of the uninsured in the state, or provide them access to a primary care physician or affordable medication to manage those chronic conditions, we could reduce significantly the number of people who have preventable hospitalizations,” Dillon said.

Dillon said the highest preventable hospitalization rate is in southeastern Missouri. Poverty, education level and access to healthcare are contributing factors to southeastern Missouri’s high rate.

“They’re costly both in monetary means, but also on the health of that patient to get to a point where they have to be hospitalized for a condition that otherwise might not require that type of intensive care,” Dillon said.

Other steps to reduce these hospital trips include a higher percentage of insured Missourians and more affordable medication.

The report finds Missourians saved about $2.4 billion over the past decade.