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Background: Individuals dually-enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) are disproportionately sicker, have higher health care costs, and are hospitalized more often for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) than other Medicare beneficiaries. Primary care may reduce ACSC hospitalizations, but this has not been well studied among dual eligibles. We examined the relationship between primary care and ACSC hospitalization among dual eligibles age 65 and older. Methods: In this observational study, we used 100% Medicare claims data for dual eligibles ages 65 and over from 2012 to 2018 to estimate the likelihood of ACSC hospitalization as a function of primary care visits and other factors. We used linear probability models stratified by rurality, with subgroup analyses for dual eligibles with diabetes or congestive heart failure. Results: Each additional primary care visit was associated with an 0.05 and 0.09 percentage point decrease in the probability of ACSC hospitalization among urban (95% CI: − 0.059, − 0.044) and rural (95% CI: − 0.10, − 0.08) dual eligibles, respectively. Among dual eligibles with CHF, the relationship was even stronger with decreases of 0.09 percentage points (95% CI: − 0.10, − 0.08) and 0.15 percentage points (95% CI: − 0.17, − 0.13) among urban and rural residents, respectively. Conclusions: Increased primary care use is associated with lower rates of preventable hospitalizations for dual eligibles age 65 and older, especially for dual eligibles with diabetes and congestive heart failure. In turn, efforts to reduce preventable hospitalizations for this dual-eligible population should consider how to increase access to and use of primary care.
Oh, N. L., Potter, A. J., Sabik, L. M., Trivedi, A. N., Wolinsky, F., & Wright, B. (2022). The association between primary care use and potentially-preventable hospitalization among dual eligibles age 65 and over. BMC Health Services Research, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-08326-2
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