New re­port finds hos­pi­tal stays for di­a­betes in­creas­ing

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Business - By Steve Twedt

Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

Di­a­betes-re­lated hos­pi­tal­iza­tions have in­creased 38 per­cent among Penn­syl­va­ni­ans un­der 45 since 2000, con­tribut­ing to an es­ti­mated $206 mil­lion in hos­pi­tal pay­ments statewide last year alone.

The fig­ures for the state’s younger res­i­dents, part of a re­search brief re­leased Wed­nes­day, “are es­pe­cially con­cern­ing, given the long-term com­pli­ca­tions that can ac­com­pany di­a­betes,” said Joe Martin, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Penn­syl­va­nia Health Care Cost Con­tain­ment Coun­cil (PHC4), which pro­duced the re­port.

Un­treated di­a­betes can lead to a host of prob­lems, in­clud­ing heart and kid­ney dis­ease, in­fec­tions that may re­sult in am­pu­ta­tion and vi­sion prob­lems that can lead to blind­ness.

While the re­port recorded 24,283 hos­pi­tal­iza­tions for di­a­betes last year, an ad­di­tional 333,580 hos­pi­tal­iza­tions listed di­a­betes as a se­condary di­ag­no­sis.

The PHC4 anal­y­sis found that about 86 per­cent of the adult hos­pi­tal­iza­tions it re­viewed were “po­ten­tially pre­ventable” if the pa­tient had been di­ag­nosed in a timely man­ner and the dis­ease was well man­aged.

Lo­cally, Al­legheny County had the high­est hos­pi­tal­iza­tion rate at 20.6 hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions per 10,000 res­i­dents, al­though that was slightly lower than its 20.9 ad­mis­sions rate in 2000. A to­tal of 2,525 hos­pi­tal­iza­tions wer­ere­corded in 2016.

Mercer County also showed im­prove­ment — from 25 ad­mis­sions per 10,000 in 2000 to 23.4 ad­mis­sions last year — though it still had the high­est rate in the re­gion.

Other lo­cal rates were 21.5 in Fayette County, 20.1 in West­more­land County, 18.8 in Beaver County, 17.6 in Wash­ing­ton County, 16.2 in Arm­strong County, 15.7 in But­ler County. 14.1 in Som­er­set County and 14.0 in Greene County.

Na­tion­ally, the hos­pi­tal­iza­tion rate for di­a­betes was 17.4 per 10,000 res­i­dents in 2014, the most re­cent data avail­able. Penn­syl­va­nia’s rate that year was 18.7 per 10,000 res­i­dents.

PHC4 is an in­de­pen­dent state agency that col­lects and an­a­lyzes hos­pi­tal data, look­ing for ways to im­prove qual­ity and hold down costs.

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