Examining Recent Trends and Variation in Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions-related Hospital Expenditures of Rural Americans with Different Health Insurance Coverage and Status

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2007
Project completed:
June 2011
Hospitalizations due to ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) may be prevented if patients receive adequate and timely primary care; therefore, hospital expenditures associated with ACSCs could be unnecessary spending. Identifying and reducing such avoidable hospitalizations could help alleviate the financial burden on rural hospitals and communities. Most ACSC studies to date have focused on patient demographic or geographic comparisons. Little is known about the magnitude of and variation in ACSC-related hospital expenditures for people with different types of health insurance coverage and status. This study will document the national time-trend and regional variation of rural ACSC-related hospital expenditures by patient insurance coverage/status. In addition, the study will compare the pattern of difference in ACSC-related hospital expenditures for rural patients with different insurance coverage/status by patient demographic, economic, and hospital characteristics. Adopting the newly available methodology developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), we will use preventable quality indicators (PQIs) to identify ACSC-related hospitalizations from the 2000-2004 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data. We will produce a policy brief and a manuscript to disseminate our research findings.