New statistics by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development show a significant decline in preventable hospitalizations over the period 1999-2008. The OSHPD report looked at 14 medical conditions "for which quality outpatient care or early intervention can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization or complications leading to a more severe illness."
Ten of these conditions, including chest pain, pediatric gastroenteritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, showed decreases in hospitalization rates. The rate for diabetes (short-term complications) stayed the same. Diabetes (long-term complications), urinary tract infections and hypertension increased.
The OSHPD study examined the hospital data at the county level and the results are displayed in color-coded maps for easy comparisons. Of particular concern are the hospitalization rates for childhood asthma in Alameda County, which 2.5 times that of the state's, as well as hypertension rates in South Central Los Angeles, which are 3.3 times that of the state's.
In general, the four counties of the Sacramento region show average or below average hospitalization rates for the 14 preventable conditions.
Hat tip: HealthyCal.