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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2008 Mar;47(2):128-36. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

Potentially avoidable pediatric hospitalizations as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: what do they tell us about disparities in child health?

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and The Urban Child Institute, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


This study was conducted to determine if the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's newly established pediatric quality monitors, which measure potentially avoidable hospitalizations, are useful in detecting disparities in health care delivery. Data for all hospital discharges in Tennessee in 2002 were evaluated for the 5 pediatric discharge monitors identified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These diagnoses were asthma, short-term complications of diabetes, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, and perforated appendix. Black children were more likely to be discharged with the diagnoses of asthma and short-term diabetes complications. Publicly insured children were more likely than commercially insured children to be discharged with each of the 5 potentially avoidable hospitalizations. The results show that black children and children insured by public programs have significantly different discharge rates for pediatric potentially avoidable hospitalizations than do white children or commercially insured children. This could be the result of less access to high-quality ambulatory care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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