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South Med J. 2003 Sep;96(9):850-8.

Potentially preventable care: ambulatory care-sensitive pediatric hospitalizations in South Carolina in 1998.

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  • 1Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined pediatric hospitalizations to assess personal and community factors affecting potentially preventable ambulatory care-sensitive condition (ACSC) hospitalizations.

METHODS:

Data came from the South Carolina 1998 Hospital Inpatient Encounter Database, which yielded 10,156 ACSC discharges among 81,808 pediatric hospitalizations. Analyses were performed at three levels: ACSC as a percentage of all hospitalizations, ACSC patients compared with other patients, and county ACSC rates.

RESULTS:

Younger, male, and nonwhite children; children with Medicaid insurance coverage; and children living in rural areas, health professional shortage area-designated counties, and poorer counties with fewer heath care resources were more likely to be hospitalized with ACSCs. A high percentage of children living in poverty and an absence of federally qualified community health centers were predictive of high county ACSC rates.

CONCLUSION:

Poverty and the absence of a provider serving low-income children increase ACSC rates. Monitoring changes in ACSC rates can be a tool for studying the effects of policy change.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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