High Rate Of Preventable Hospitalization In Baltimore
The Baltimore City Health Department released a report by the RAND Corporation finding high rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits for a variety of potentially preventable health conditions among city residents.
The report, Ambulatory Care Sensitive Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits in Baltimore City, was funded by the Aaron Straus & Lillie Straus Foundation.
The report finds:
• Baltimore's rate of potentially preventable hospitalization is substantially higher than surrounding counties and the District of Columbia;
• Thousands of city residents suffer from such preventable conditions as asthma attacks, skin infections, and heart failure;
• The problem is concentrated in certain areas of the city, including West and East Baltimore; and
• Difficulty accessing primary care in Baltimore is a leading reason why people fall ill with preventable problems and need to be hospitalized.
In a letter to the Straus Foundation about the report, Commissioner of Health Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein wrote, "The reports' findings reflect a fundamental failure of our city's healthcare system."
To respond to the report, the Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will hold a public hearing this spring on access to outpatient care.