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United States
Preventable Hospitalizations
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Preventable Hospitalizations is a measure of the discharge rate of Medicare enrollees age 65-99 with full Part A entitlement and no HMO enrollment from hospitals for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions. Ambulatory care–sensitive conditions are those “for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization, or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease[1]." These conditions are based on ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes and include: convulsions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bacterial pneumonia, asthma, congestive heart failure (CHF), hypertension, angina, cellulitis, diabetes, gastroenteritis, kidney/urinary infection and dehydration. Ranks are based on the most recently available data from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.  


Preventable hospitalizations reflect how efficiently a population uses the various healthcare delivery options for necessary care. Hospital care is expensive and makes up the largest component of health care spending in the U.S., totaling over $750 billion[2]. Preventable hospitalizations often occur as a result of a failure to treat conditions early in an outpatient setting due to limited availability.[3] These discharges are also highly correlated with general admissions and reflect the tendency for a population to overuse the hospital setting as a site for care. Preventable hospitalizations place a financial burden on heath care systems as they could have been avoided with earlier less costly interventions. Preventable hospitalizations are more common in those that are uninsured, which often leads to large unpaid medical bills[4].  

[1] Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. Prevention quality indicators overview.http://www.qualityindicators.ahrq.gov/. Updated 2003. Accessed August 3, 2012.

[2] The Kaiser Family Foundation. Trends in health care costs and spending. . 2009;7692-02.

[3] Billings J. Recent findings on preventable hospitalizations. Health Aff. 1996;15(3):239

[4] Weissman JS. Rates of avoidable hospitalization by insurance status in Massachusetts and Maryland. JAMA. 1992;268(17):2388.


USA Preventable Hospitalizations (2001-2013) see more
  • Discharge rate among the Medicare population for diagnoses that are amenable to non-hospital based care.

The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.


State Changes
Over Time
Rank Value Take Action
Alabama graph 44 80.1 View Actions
Alaska graph 11 54.5 View Actions
Arizona graph 10 52.9 View Actions
Arkansas graph 43 79.3 View Actions
California graph 9 51.9 View Actions
Colorado graph 6 46.6 View Actions
Connecticut graph 23 60.4 View Actions
Delaware graph 19 58.6 View Actions
Florida graph 28 65.3 View Actions
Georgia graph 32 68.4 View Actions
Hawaii graph 1 25.0 View Actions
Idaho graph 4 43.6 View Actions
Illinois graph 40 75.0 View Actions
Indiana graph 41 76.0 View Actions
Iowa graph 22 60.4 View Actions
Kansas graph 31 66.8 View Actions
Kentucky graph 50 102.8 View Actions
Louisiana graph 48 92.1 View Actions
Maine graph 20 59.3 View Actions
Maryland graph 26 62.7 View Actions
Massachusetts graph 38 72.8 View Actions
Michigan graph 35 69.8 View Actions
Minnesota graph 8 50.6 View Actions
Mississippi graph 47 91.3 View Actions
Missouri graph 39 73.0 View Actions
Montana graph 15 56.2 View Actions
Nebraska graph 29 65.4 View Actions
Nevada graph 16 58.1 View Actions
New Hampshire graph 14 56.0 View Actions
New Jersey graph 33 68.8 View Actions
New Mexico graph 12 54.9 View Actions
New York graph 30 66.3 View Actions
North Carolina graph 25 62.6 View Actions
North Dakota graph 21 59.4 View Actions
Ohio graph 42 78.5 View Actions
Oklahoma graph 45 81.0 View Actions
Oregon graph 3 42.9 View Actions
Pennsylvania graph 34 69.6 View Actions
Rhode Island graph 36 70.6 View Actions
South Carolina graph 24 61.2 View Actions
South Dakota graph 27 63.7 View Actions
Tennessee graph 46 83.4 View Actions
Texas graph 37 72.3 View Actions
Utah graph 2 36.8 View Actions
Vermont graph 7 50.6 View Actions
Virginia graph 18 58.3 View Actions
Washington graph 5 46.4 View Actions
West Virginia graph 49 99.1 View Actions
Wisconsin graph 13 55.3 View Actions
Wyoming graph 17 58.2 View Actions
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