The Costs Of Disparities In Preventable Heart Failure Hospitalizations In The US South, 2015–17

Andrew Anderson, Nurzhan Mukashev, Danju Zhou, William Bigler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Black Americans in the US South have high rates of preventable heart failure hospitalizations, which reflects systemic inequities that also produce economic costs. We measured the direct medical costs of disparities in preventable heart failure admissions (that is, excess admissions) among Medicare beneficiaries living in six states in the US South (Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina). We used 2015–17 data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and constructed negative binomial models with state-level fixed effects to calculate adjusted admission rates with heart failure as the principal diagnosis. We calculated the number of these admissions that would have been avoided if Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native Medicare beneficiaries had the same admission rates as White beneficiaries. We found 28,213 excess admissions (48 percent excess) with $60,845,855 annual costs among Black beneficiaries, 3,499 (14 percent excess) with $8,179,381 annual costs among Hispanic beneficiaries, and 550 (51 percent excess) with $1,093,472 in annual costs among American Indian/Alaska Native beneficiaries. Failure to address heart failure treatment inequities in the community has a high opportunity cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-701
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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