What Everyone Ought to Know About Pennsylvania Hospitalizations for Chronic Diseases

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Health Care Containment Council (PHC4) issued new data about Pennsylvania’s hospitalization rate of people with chronic diseases.  According to the PHC4 report, the hospitalization rates for people with diabetes, asthma, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Pennsylvania are higher than the national average.  This was true for all four conditions in 2004 and 2007. 

Why the High Rate of Hospitalizations?

According to Joe Martin, the director of PHC4, three things are likely driving the high rate of hospitalizations in Pennsylvania:  lack of early intervention, lack of ongoing disease management, and lack of lifestyle changes.

It is important to note that the hospitalization rate is significantly higher among Black and Hispanic patients than white patients.  The cause for this trend is troubling and should be studied further.

Another disturbing fact is that 25% of people hospitalized for one of the four chronic disease discussed in the report are rehospitalized within one year.

If you, or a loved one, suffer from one of these conditions, please talk to your doctor and make sure that you are getting proper medical care that could prevent an unnecessary hospitalization.