To obtain near‐national rates of potentially preventable hospitalization ()—a marker of barriers to outpatient care access—for Hispanics; to examine their differences from other race‐ethnic groups and by Hispanic national origin; and to identify key mediating factors.
Data from all‐payer inpatient discharge databases for 15 states accounting for 85 percent of Hispanics nationally.
Combining counts of inpatient discharges with census population for adults aged 18 and older, we estimated age‐sex‐adjusted rates. We examined county‐level variation in race‐ethnic disparities in these rates to identify the mediating role of area‐level indicators of chronic condition prevalence, socioeconomic status (), health care access, acculturation, and provider availability.
Age‐sex‐adjusted rates were 13 percent higher among Hispanics (1,375 per 100,000 adults) and 111 percent higher among blacks (2,578) compared to whites (1,221). Among Hispanics, these rates were relatively higher in areas with predominantly Puerto Rican and Cuban Americans than in areas with Hispanics of other nationalities. Small area variation in chronic condition prevalence and fully accounted for the higher rates among Hispanics, but only partially among blacks.
Hispanics and blacks face higher barriers to outpatient care access; the higher barriers among Hispanics (but not blacks) seem mediated by , lack of insurance, cost barriers, and limited provider availability.
Data Sources/Study Setting