Potentially preventable hospitalizations for acute and chronic conditions in Alaska, 2010–2012

Prabhu P. Gounder, Sara M. Seeman, Robert C. Holman, Alice Rarig, Mary K. McEwen, Claudia A. Steiner, Michael L. Bartholomew, Thomas W. Hennessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Prevention Quality Indicators comprise acute and chronic conditions for which hospitalization can be potentially prevented by high-quality ambulatory care. The Healthy Alaska 2020 initiative (HA2020) targeted reducing potentially preventable hospitalizations (PPH) for acute and chronic conditions among its health indicators. We estimated the PPH rate for adults aged ≥ 18 years in Alaska during 2010–2012. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of state-wide hospital discharge data obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and the Indian Health Service. We calculated average annual PPH rates/1000 persons for acute/chronic conditions. Age-adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) were used for evaluating PPH rate disparities between Alaska Native (AN) and non-AN adults. Results Among 127,371 total hospitalizations, 4911 and 6721 were for acute and chronic PPH conditions, respectively. The overall crude PPH rate was 7.3 (3.1 for acute and 4.2 for chronic conditions). AN adults had a higher rate than non-AN adults for acute (aRR: 4.7; p < 0.001) and chronic (aRR: 2.6; p < 0.001) PPH conditions. Adults aged ≥ 85 years had the highest PPH rate for acute (43.5) and chronic (31.6) conditions. Acute conditions with the highest PPH rate were bacterial pneumonia (1.8) and urinary tract infections (0.8). Chronic conditions with the highest PPH rate were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; 1.6) and congestive heart failure (CHF; 1.3). Conclusion Efforts to reduce PPHs caused by COPD, CHF, and bacterial pneumonia, especially among AN people and older adults, should yield the greatest benefit in achieving the HA2020 goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-621
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Health services research
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Native American
  • Quality of health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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