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Health Services Research & Development

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Relationship between Local Area Unemployment and Preventable Hospitalizations

Wong ES, Hebert PL, Hernandez SE, Batten A, Sylling PW, Fihn SD, Liu C. Relationship between Local Area Unemployment and Preventable Hospitalizations. Paper presented at: AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting; 2014 Jun 8; San Diego, CA.

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Comprised of over 900 facilities nationwide, the Veterans Health Administration Affairs (VHA) provided care to over 5 million veterans in fiscal year (FY) 2012. Veterans with service connected disabilities or financial means below national thresholds receive higher priority. Prior studies have found greater utilization of VA outpatient health services among veterans residing in areas with higher local unemployment. We sought to determine whether local area unemployment among veterans enrolled in VA was associated with hospitalization for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs), defined as 14 medical conditions for which outcomes are thought to be modifiable with optimal outpatient care. We also examined whether the relationship between local unemployment and ACSC hospitalization differed by race/ethnicity.

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