Publications by authors named "Ernest Moy"

51 Publications

Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Veterans and Nonveterans: United States, 2015-2018.

Natl Health Stat Report 2021 Feb(153):1-13

Objectives-This report describes the prevalence of multiple (two or more) chronic conditions (MCC) among veterans and nonveterans and examines whether differences by veteran status may be explained by differences in sociodemographic composition, smoking behavior, and weight status based on body mass index. Methods-Data from the 2015-2018 National Health Interview Survey were used to estimate the prevalence of MCC among adults aged 25 and over by veteran status and sex. Estimates (age-stratified and age-adjusted) were also presented by race and Hispanic origin, educational attainment, poverty status, smoking status, and weight status. Multivariate logistic regression models examined the odds of MCC by veteran status after age stratification (65 and over or under 65) and further adjustment for age and other covariates. Results-Among adults aged 25 and over, age-adjusted prevalence of MCC was higher among veterans compared with nonveterans for both men and women (22.2% compared with 17.0% for men aged 25-64, 66.9% compared with 61.9% for men aged 65 and over, 25.4% compared with 19.6% among women aged 25-64, and 74.1% compared with 61.8% among women aged 65 and over). Following stratification by age and adjustment for selected sociodemographic characteristics, the prevalence of MCC remained higher among veterans compared with nonveterans for both men and women. After further adjustment for smoking status and weight status, differences in the prevalence of MCC by veteran status were reduced but remained statistically significant, with the exception of men aged 65 and over.
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February 2021

Geographic and Racial/Ethnic Variation in Glycemic Control and Treatment in a National Sample of Veterans With Diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2020 Oct 7;43(10):2460-2468. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC), Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC.

Objective: Geographic and racial/ethnic disparities related to diabetes control and treatment have not previously been examined at the national level.

Research Design And Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a national cohort of 1,140,634 veterans with diabetes, defined as two or more diabetes ICD-9 codes (250.xx) across inpatient and outpatient records. Main exposures of interest included 125 Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) catchment areas as well as racial/ethnic group. The main outcome measure was HbA level dichotomized at ≥8.0% (≥64 mmol/mol).

Results: After adjustment for age, sex, racial/ethnic group, service-connected disability, marital status, and the van Walraven Elixhauser comorbidity score, the prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes varied by VAMC catchment area, with values ranging from 19.1% to 29.2%. Moreover, these differences largely persisted after further adjusting for medication use and adherence as well as utilization and access metrics. Racial/ethnic differences in diabetes control were also noted. In our final models, compared with non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks (odds ratio 1.11 [95% credible interval 1.09-1.14]) and Hispanics (1.36 [1.09-1.14]) had a higher odds of uncontrolled HBA level.

Conclusions: In a national cohort of veterans with diabetes, we found geographic as well as racial/ethnic differences in diabetes control rates that were not explained by adjustment for demographics, comorbidity burden, use or type of diabetes medication, health care utilization, access metrics, or medication adherence. Moreover, disparities in suboptimal control appeared consistent across most, but not all, VAMC catchment areas, with non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic veterans having a higher odds of suboptimal diabetes control than non-Hispanic White veterans.
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October 2020

Healthy People 2020: Rural Areas Lag In Achieving Targets For Major Causes Of Death.

Health Aff (Millwood) 2019 12;38(12):2027-2031

Melonie Heron is a health scientist in the Division of Vital Statistics, NCHS.

For the period 2007-17 rural death rates were higher than urban rates for the seven major causes of death analyzed, and disparities widened for five of the seven. In 2017 urban areas had met national targets for three of the seven causes, while rural areas had met none of the targets.
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December 2019

Personalized medicine and Hispanic health: improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities - a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute workshop report.

BMC Proc 2017 3;11(Suppl 11):11. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-8856 USA.

Persons of Hispanic/Latino descent may represent different ancestries, ethnic and cultural groups and countries of birth. In the U.S., the Hispanic/Latino population is projected to constitute 29% of the population by 2060. A personalized approach focusing on individual variability in genetics, environment, lifestyle and socioeconomic determinants of health may advance the understanding of some of the major factors contributing to the health disparities experienced by Hispanics/Latinos and other groups in the U.S., thus leading to new strategies that improve health care outcomes. However, there are major gaps in our current knowledge about how personalized medicine can shape health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and address the potential factors that may explain the observed differences within this heterogeneous group, and between this group and other U.S. demographic groups. For that purpose, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held a workshop in which experts discussed (1) potential approaches to study medical treatments and health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and garner the necessary evidence to fill gaps of efficacy, effectiveness and safety of therapies for heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) disorders and conditions--and their risk factors; (2) research opportunities related to personalized medicine to improve knowledge and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S.; and (3) the incorporation of expanded sociocultural and socioeconomic data collection and genetic/genomic/epigenetic information of Hispanic/Latino patients into their clinical assessments, to account for individual variability in ancestry; physiology or disease risk; culture; environment; lifestyle; and socioeconomic determinants of health. The experts also provided recommendations on: sources of Hispanic/Latino health data and strategies to enhance its collection; policy; genetics, genomics and epigenetics research; and integrating Hispanic/Latino health research within clinical settings.
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October 2017

Disparities by Sex Tracked in the 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report: Trends across National Quality Strategy Priorities, Health Conditions, and Access Measures.

Womens Health Issues 2018 Jan - Feb;28(1):97-103. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Formerly, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland.

Introduction: Established by the Affordable Care Act, the National Quality Strategy (NQS) is the national policy goals aimed at improving the quality of health care for all Americans. The NQS established six priorities to provide better, more affordable care for individuals and communities. This is the first analysis of data on the NQS and access measures that focus on sex differences, health conditions, trends, and disparities.

Methods: Measures from the 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) for the four National Quality Strategy priorities (Patient Safety, Person Centered Care, Effective Treatment, and Healthy Living), access to care, and health conditions for women were compared to measures for men. Trends were analyzed for women by health condition and the four NQS priorities and access to care. Baseline year (2000-2002) and most current year (2012-2013) were compared to assess disparity trends. All non-institutionalized women and men in the U.S. over the age of 18 were included in the sample.

Results: Disparities between males and females for the four NQS priority and access measures did not change for 83 percent of measures (n=81); disparities remained constant. The greatest improvement over time for females from the baseline year was in the patient safety measures (3.66 percent increase per year). Access of care measures showed the least amount of improvement with a median change of -1.20 percent per year. The greatest improvement in quality of care by health condition was amongst chronic kidney disease (11.95 median percent change) and HIV/AIDS (6.63 median percent change) measures. Behavioral health measures showed the least amount of improvement with a median change of -0.33 percent per year.

Conclusions: This analysis highlights cardiovascular disease, behavioral health, and access to care as problem areas for women that require immediate attention. It is of concern that 83% of the measures showed a persistent disparity over time between men and women. These results indicate that there is room for improving the quality of healthcare received by women and reducing sex-based disparities experienced by women in the healthcare delivery system.
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September 2018

Racial Disparities in Sepsis-Related In-Hospital Mortality: Using a Broad Case Capture Method and Multivariate Controls for Clinical and Hospital Variables, 2004-2013.

Crit Care Med 2017 Dec;45(12):e1209-e1217

National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD.

Objectives: As sepsis hospitalizations have increased, in-hospital sepsis deaths have declined. However, reported rates may remain higher among racial/ethnic minorities. Most previous studies have adjusted primarily for age and sex. The effect of other patient and hospital characteristics on disparities in sepsis mortality is not yet well-known. Furthermore, coding practices in claims data may influence findings. The objective of this study was to use a broad method of capturing sepsis cases to estimate 2004-2013 trends in risk-adjusted in-hospital sepsis mortality rates by race/ethnicity to inform efforts to reduce disparities in sepsis deaths.

Design: Retrospective, repeated cross-sectional study.

Setting: Acute care hospitals in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases for 18 states with consistent race/ethnicity reporting.

Patients: Patients diagnosed with septicemia, sepsis, organ dysfunction plus infection, severe sepsis, or septic shock.

Measurements And Main Results: In-hospital sepsis mortality rates adjusted for patient and hospital factors by race/ethnicity were calculated. From 2004 to 2013, sepsis hospitalizations for all racial/ethnic groups increased, and mortality rates decreased by 5-7% annually. Mortality rates adjusted for patient characteristics were higher for all minority groups than for white patients. After adjusting for hospital characteristics, sepsis mortality rates in 2013 were similar for white (92.0 per 1,000 sepsis hospitalizations), black (94.0), and Hispanic (93.5) patients but remained elevated for Asian/Pacific Islander (106.4) and "other" (104.7; p < 0.001) racial/ethnic patients.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that hospital characteristics contribute to higher rates of sepsis mortality for blacks and Hispanics. These findings underscore the importance of ensuring that improved sepsis identification and management is implemented across all hospitals, especially those serving diverse populations.
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December 2017

Managed care and inpatient mortality in adults: effect of primary payer.

BMC Health Serv Res 2017 02 8;17(1):121. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: Because managed care is increasingly prevalent in health care finance and delivery, it is important to ascertain its effects on health care quality relative to that of fee-for-service plans. Some stakeholders are concerned that basing gatekeeping, provider selection, and utilization management on cost may lower quality of care. To date, research on this topic has been inconclusive, largely because of variation in research methods and covariates. Patient age has been the only consistently evaluated outcome predictor. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of the association between managed care and inpatient mortality for Medicare and privately insured patients.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to examine the association between managed care and inpatient mortality for four common inpatient conditions. Data from the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases for 11 states were linked to data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database. Hospital discharges were categorized as managed care or fee for service. A phased approach to multivariate logistic modeling examined the likelihood of inpatient mortality when adjusting for individual patient and hospital characteristics and for county fixed effects.

Results: Results showed different effects of managed care for Medicare and privately insured patients. Privately insured patients in managed care had an advantage over their fee-for-service counterparts in inpatient mortality for acute myocardial infarction, stroke, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure; no such advantage was found for the Medicare managed care population. To the extent that the study showed a protective effect of privately insured managed care, it was driven by individuals aged 65 years and older, who had consistently better outcomes than their non-managed care counterparts.

Conclusions: Privately insured patients in managed care plans, especially older adults, had better outcomes than those in fee-for-service plans. Patients in Medicare managed care had outcomes similar to those in Medicare FFS. Additional research is needed to understand the role of patient selection, hospital quality, and differences among county populations in the decreased odds of inpatient mortality among patients in private managed care and to determine why this result does not hold for Medicare.
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February 2017

Leading Causes of Death in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Areas- United States, 1999-2014.

MMWR Surveill Summ 2017 Jan 13;66(1):1-8. Epub 2017 Jan 13.

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, CDC.

Problem/condition: Higher rates of death in nonmetropolitan areas (often referred to as rural areas) compared with metropolitan areas have been described but not systematically assessed.

Period Covered: 1999-2014 DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: Mortality data for U.S. residents from the National Vital Statistics System were used to calculate age-adjusted death rates and potentially excess deaths for nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas for the five leading causes of death. Age-adjusted death rates included all ages and were adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population by the direct method. Potentially excess deaths are defined as deaths among persons aged <80 years that exceed the numbers that would be expected if the death rates of states with the lowest rates (i.e., benchmark states) occurred across all states. (Benchmark states were the three states with the lowest rates for each cause during 2008-2010.) Potentially excess deaths were calculated separately for nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas. Data are presented for the United States and the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services public health regions.

Results: Across the United States, nonmetropolitan areas experienced higher age-adjusted death rates than metropolitan areas. The percentages of potentially excess deaths among persons aged <80 years from the five leading causes were higher in nonmetropolitan areas than in metropolitan areas. For example, approximately half of deaths from unintentional injury and chronic lower respiratory disease in nonmetropolitan areas were potentially excess deaths, compared with 39.2% and 30.9%, respectively, in metropolitan areas. Potentially excess deaths also differed among and within public health regions; within regions, nonmetropolitan areas tended to have higher percentages of potentially excess deaths than metropolitan areas.

Interpretation: Compared with metropolitan areas, nonmetropolitan areas have higher age-adjusted death rates and greater percentages of potentially excess deaths from the five leading causes of death, nationally and across public health regions.

Public Health Action: Routine tracking of potentially excess deaths in nonmetropolitan areas might help public health departments identify emerging health problems, monitor known problems, and focus interventions to reduce preventable deaths in these areas.
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January 2017

Age-related Disparities in Trauma Center Access for Severe Head Injuries Following the Release of the Updated Field Triage Guidelines.

Acad Emerg Med 2017 04 17;24(4):447-457. Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Dr. Moy is currently with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Objective: In 2006, the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released field triage guidelines with special consideration for older adults. Additional considerations for direct transport to a Level I or II trauma center (TC) were added in 2011, reflecting perceived undertriage to TCs for older adults. We examined whether age-based disparities in TC care for severe head injury decreased following introduction of the 2011 revisions.

Methods: A pre-post design analyzing the 2009 and 2012 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Emergency Department Databases and State Inpatient Databases with multivariable logistic regressions considered changes in 1) the trauma designation of the emergency department where treatment was initiated and 2) transfer to a TC following initial treatment at a non-TC.

Results: Compared with adults aged 18 to 44 years, after multivariable adjustment, in both years TC care was less likely for adults aged 45 to 64 years (odds ratio [OR] = 0.76 in 2009 and 0.74 in 2012), aged 65 to 84 years (OR = 0.61 and 0.59), and aged 85+ years (OR = 0.53 and 0.56). Between 2009 and 2012, the likelihood of TC care increased for all age groups, with the largest increase among those aged 85+ years (OR = 1.18), which was statistically different (p = 0.02) from the increase among adults aged 18 to 44 years (OR = 1.12). The analysis of transfers yielded similar results.

Conclusions: Although patterns of increased TC treatment for all groups with severe head trauma indicate improvements, age-based disparities persisted.
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April 2017

Admissions after discharge from an emergency department for chest symptoms.

Diagnosis (Berl) 2016 Sep;3(3):103-113

4National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, Hyattsville, MD, United States of America.

Background: Often patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with chest symptoms return to the hospital within 30 days with the same or closely related symptoms and are admitted, raising questions about quality of care, timeliness of diagnosis, and patient safety. This study examined the frequency of and patient characteristics associated with subsequent inpatient admissions for related symptoms after discharge from an ED for chest symptoms.

Methods: We used data from the 2012 and 2013 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases (SID) and State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) from eight states to identify over 1.8 million ED discharges for chest symptoms.

Results: Approximately 3% of ED discharges experienced potentially related subsequent admissions within 30 days - 0.2% for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), 1.7% for other cardiovascular conditions, 0.5% for respiratory conditions, and 0.6% for mental disorders. Logistic regression results showed higher odds of subsequent admission for older patients and those residing in low-income areas, and lower odds for females and non White racial/ethnic groups. Privately insured patients had lower odds of subsequent admission than did those who were uninsured or covered by other programs.

Conclusions: Because we included multiple diagnostic categories of subsequent admissions, our results show a more complete picture of patients presenting to the ED with chest symptoms compared with previous studies. In particular, we show a lower rate of subsequent admission for AMI versus other diagnoses. ED physicians and administrators can use the results to identify characteristics associated with increased odds of subsequent admission to target at-risk populations.
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September 2016

The effects of multiple chronic conditions on hospitalization costs and utilization for ambulatory care sensitive conditions in the United States: a nationally representative cross-sectional study.

BMC Health Serv Res 2016 Mar 1;16:77. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD, 20857, USA.

Background: The presence of multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) complicates inpatient hospital care, leading to higher costs and utilization. Multimorbidity also complicates primary care, increasing the likelihood of hospitalization for ambulatory care sensitive conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how MCCs relate to inpatient hospitalization costs and utilization for ambulatory care sensitive conditions.

Methods: The 2012 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases (SID) provided data to carry out a cross-sectional analysis of 1.43 million claims related to potentially preventable hospitalizations classified by the AHRQ Prevention Quality Indicator (PQI) composites. Categories of MCCs (0-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6+) were examined in sets of acute, chronic, and overall PQIs. Multivariate models determined associations between categories of MCCs and 1) inpatient costs per stay, 2) inpatient costs per day, and 3) length of inpatient hospitalization. Negative binomial was used to model costs per stay and costs per day.

Results: The most common category observed was 2 or 3 chronic conditions (37.8 % of patients), followed by 4 or 5 chronic conditions (30.1 % of patients) and by 6+ chronic conditions (10.1 %). Compared with costs for patients with 0 or 1 chronic condition, hospitalization costs per stay for overall ambulatory care sensitive conditions were 19 % higher for those with 2 or 3 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.19-1.20), 32 % higher for those with 4 or 5 (95 % CI 1.31-1.32), and 31 % higher (95 % CI 1.30-3.32) for those with 6+ conditions. Acute condition stays were 11 % longer when 2 or 3 chronic conditions were present (95 % CI 1.11-1.12), 21 % longer when 4 or 5 were present (95 % CI 1.20-1.22), and 27 % longer when 6+ were present (95 % CI 1.26-1.28) compared with those with 0 or 1 chronic condition. Similar results were seen within chronic conditions. Associations between MCCs and total costs were driven by longer stays among those with more chronic conditions rather than by higher costs per day.

Conclusions: The presence of MCCs increased inpatient costs for ambulatory care sensitive conditions via longer hospital stays.
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March 2016

Length of stay in EDs: variation across classifications of clinical condition and patient discharge disposition.

Am J Emerg Med 2016 Jan 25;34(1):83-7. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

MedStar Health, Washington, DC, USA.

Study Objective: Duration of a stay in an emergency department (ED) is considered a measure of quality, but current measures average lengths of stay across all conditions. Previous research on ED length of stay has been limited to a single condition or a few hospitals. We use a census of one state's data to measure length of ED stays by patients' conditions and dispositions and explore differences between means and medians as quality metrics.

Methods: The data source was the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2011 State Emergency Department Databases and State Inpatient Databases for Florida. Florida is unique in collecting ED length of stay for both released and admitted patients. Clinical Classifications Software was used to group visits based on first-listed International Classification of Disease, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification, diagnoses.

Results: For the 10 most common diagnoses, patients with relatively minor injuries typically required the shortest mean stay (3 hours or less); conditions resulting in admission or transfer tended to be more serious, resulting in longer stays. Patients requiring the longest stays, by disposition, had discharge diagnoses of nonspecific chest pain (mean 7.4 hours among discharged patients), urinary tract infections (4.8 hours among admissions), and schizophrenia (9.6 hours among transfers) among the top 10 diagnoses.

Conclusion: Emergency department length of stay as a measure of ED quality should take into account the considerable variation by condition and disposition of the patient. Emergency department length of stay measurement could be improved in the United States by standardizing its definition; distinguishing visits involving treatment, observation, and boarding; and incorporating more distributional information.
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January 2016

Finding the True North: Lessons From the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.

J Nurs Care Qual 2016 Jan-Mar;31(1):9-12

Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement (Dr Ricciardi), Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (Dr Moy), and National Quality Strategy (Dr Wilson), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland.

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November 2016

Racial differences in hospital mortality for medical and surgical admissions: variations by patient and hospital characteristics.

Ethn Dis 2015 ;25(1):90-7

Objective: To determine if there are disparities between White and Black inpatient mortality rates for specific medical and surgical conditions and whether disparities vary by patient and hospital subgroups.

Design, Setting, Participants: All-payer discharge records in the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, State Inpatient Databases (SID) for 36 states that comprised about 80% of the Black and White populations in the United States were used to create a random, stratified sample of about 1,900 community hospitals (a 40% sample of US hospitals). All discharges in the hospitals were included and weighted for national estimates.

Main Outcome Measures: Inpatient Quality Indicators, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, were used to measure risk-adjusted hospital mortality for six medical conditions and four surgeries. National estimates compared non-Hispanic Whites to Blacks by patient and hospital characteristics.

Results: Blacks had lower mortality for all medical conditions compared to Whites. However, they had higher mortality rates for two surgical procedures (coronary artery bypass graft and craniotomy) and lower mortality for one surgery (abdominal aortic anuerysm repair). These patterns held for most, though not all, patient and hospital subgroups for medical conditions, but disparities typically varied by subgroup for surgeries.

Conclusions: Policymakers and researchers may use these findings in targeting interventions, designing quality reporting programs and designing studies on why the disparities exist and how to reduce them.
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April 2015

Missed diagnoses of acute myocardial infarction in the emergency department: variation by patient and facility characteristics.

Diagnosis (Berl) 2015 Feb;2(1):29-40

5Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Meyer Building 8-154, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

Background: An estimated 1.2 million people in the US have an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) each year. An estimated 7% of AMI hospitalizations result in death. Most patients experiencing acute coronary symptoms, such as unstable angina, visit an emergency department (ED). Some patients hospitalized with AMI after a treat-and-release ED visit likely represent missed opportunities for correct diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of the present study is to estimate the frequency of missed AMI or its precursors in the ED by examining use of EDs prior to hospitalization for AMI.

Methods: We estimated the rate of probable missed diagnoses in EDs in the week before hospitalization for AMI and examined associated factors. We used Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases and State Emergency Department Databases for 2007 to evaluate missed diagnoses in 111,973 admitted patients aged 18 years and older.

Results: We identified missed diagnoses in the ED for 993 of 112,000 patients (0.9% of all AMI admissions). These patients had visited an ED with chest pain or cardiac conditions, were released, and were subsequently admitted for AMI within 7 days. Higher odds of having missed diagnoses were associated with being younger and of Black race. Hospital teaching status, availability of cardiac catheterization, high ED admission rates, high inpatient occupancy rates, and urban location were associated with lower odds of missed diagnoses.

Conclusions: Administrative data provide robust information that may help EDs identify populations at risk of experiencing a missed diagnosis, address disparities, and reduce diagnostic errors.
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February 2015

Disparities in rates of inpatient mortality and adverse events: race/ethnicity and language as independent contributors.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2014 Dec 12;11(12):13017-34. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Truven Health Analytics, 7700 Old Georgetown Road Suite 650, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.

Patients with limited English proficiency have known limitations accessing health care, but differences in hospital outcomes once access is obtained are unknown. We investigate inpatient mortality rates and obstetric trauma for self-reported speakers of English, Spanish, and languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands (API) and compare quality of care by language with patterns by race/ethnicity. Data were from the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2009 State Inpatient Databases for California. There were 3,757,218 records. Speaking a non-English principal language and having a non-White race/ethnicity did not place patients at higher risk for inpatient mortality; the exception was significantly higher stroke mortality for Japanese-speaking patients. Patients who spoke API languages or had API race/ethnicity had higher risk for obstetric trauma than English-speaking White patients. Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients had more obstetric trauma than English-speaking Hispanic patients. The influence of language on obstetric trauma and the potential effects of interpretation services on inpatient care are discussed. The broader context of policy implications for collection and reporting of language data is also presented. Results from other countries with and without English as a primary language are needed for the broadest interpretation and generalization of outcomes.
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December 2014

Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare-associated infections in the United States, 2009-2011.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014 Oct;35 Suppl 3:S10-6

Qualidigm, Wethersfield, Connecticut.

Background: Little is known about racial and ethnic disparities in the occurrence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in hospitalized patients.

Objective: To determine whether racial/ethnic disparities exist in the rate of occurrence of HAIs captured in the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System (MPSMS).

Methods: Chart-abstracted MPSMS data from randomly selected all-payer hospital discharges of adult patients (18 years old or above) between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2011, for 3 common medical conditions: acute cardiovascular disease (composed of acute myocardial infarction and heart failure), pneumonia, and major surgery for 6 HAI measures (hospital-acquired antibiotic-associated Clostridium difficile, central line-associated bloodstream infections, postoperative pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and ventilator-associated pneumonia).

Results: The study sample included 79,019 patients who had valid racial/ethnic information divided into 6 racial/ethnic groups-white non-Hispanic (n = 62,533), black non-Hispanic (n = 9,693), Hispanic (n = 4,681), Asian (n = 1,225), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (n = 94), and other (n = 793)-who were at risk for at least 1 HAI. The occurrence rate for HAIs was 1.1% for non-Hispanic white patients, 1.3% for non-Hispanic black patients, 1.5% for Hispanic patients, 1.8% for Asian patients, 1.7% for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander patients, and 0.70% for other patients. Compared with white patients, the age/gender/comorbidity-adjusted odds ratios of occurrence of HAIs were 1.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99-1.23), 1.3 (95% CI, 1.15-1.53), 1.4 (95% CI, 1.07-1.75), and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.40-1.12) for black, Hispanic, Asian, and a combined group of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and other patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Among patients hospitalized with acute cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and major surgery, Asian and Hispanic patients had significantly higher rates of HAIs than white non-Hispanic patients.
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October 2014

Missed diagnosis of stroke in the emergency department: a cross-sectional analysis of a large population-based sample.

Diagnosis (Berl) 2014 Jun 3;1(2):155-166. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

4Truven Health Analytics, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Some cerebrovascular events are not diagnosed promptly, potentially resulting in death or disability from missed treatments. We sought to estimate the frequency of missed stroke and examine associations with patient, emergency department (ED), and hospital characteristics.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis using linked inpatient discharge and ED visit records from the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases and 2008-2009 State ED Databases across nine US states. We identified adult patients admitted for stroke with a treat-and-release ED visit in the prior 30 days, considering those given a non-cerebrovascular diagnosis as probable (benign headache or dizziness diagnosis) or potential (any other diagnosis) missed strokes.

Results: There were 23,809 potential and 2243 probable missed strokes representing 12.7% and 1.2% of stroke admissions, respectively. Missed hemorrhages (n = 406) were linked to headache while missed ischemic strokes (n = 1435) and transient ischemic attacks (n = 402) were linked to headache or dizziness. Odds of a probable misdiagnosis were lower among men (OR 0.75), older individuals (18-44 years [base]; 45-64:OR 0.43; 65-74:OR 0.28; ≥ 75:OR 0.19), and Medicare (OR 0.66) or Medicaid (OR 0.70) recipients compared to privately insured patients. Odds were higher among Blacks (OR 1.18), Asian/Pacific Islanders (OR 1.29), and Hispanics (OR 1.30). Odds were higher in non-teaching hospitals (OR 1.45) and low-volume hospitals (OR 1.57).

Conclusions: We estimate 15,000-165,000 misdiagnosed cerebrovascular events annually in US EDs, disproportionately presenting with headache or dizziness. Physicians evaluating these symptoms should be particularly attuned to the possibility of stroke in younger, female, and non-White patients.
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June 2014

Federal investments to eliminate racial/ethnic health-care disparities.

Public Health Rep 2014 Jan-Feb;129 Suppl 2:62-70

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Health care is an important lever for moderating the effects of social determinants on health. We present a model that describes the relationships among social disadvantage, health-care disparities, and health disparities. Improving access to health care and enhancing patient-provider interaction are critical pathways for reducing disparities. Increasing the diversity of the public health and health-care workforces is an efficient strategy for reducing disparities because it impacts both access to care and patient-provider communication. Federal policy makers should continue interest in workforce diversity to optimize the health of all Americans.
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March 2014

Potentially preventable hospitalizations - United States, 2001-2009.

MMWR Suppl 2013 Nov;62(3):139-43

Potentially preventable hospitalizations are admissions to a hospital for certain acute illnesses (e.g., dehydration) or worsening chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes) that might not have required hospitalization had these conditions been managed successfully by primary care providers in outpatient settings. Although not all such hospitalizations can be avoided, admission rates in populations and communities can vary depending on access to primary care, care-seeking behaviors, and the quality of care available. Because hospitalization tends to be costlier than outpatient or primary care, potentially preventable hospitalizations often are tracked as markers of health system efficiency. The number and cost of potentially preventable hospitalizations also can be calculated to help identify potential cost savings associated with reducing these hospitalizations overall and for specific populations.
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November 2013

Ethnic differences in potentially preventable hospitalizations among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders: implications for reducing health care disparities.

Ethn Dis 2013 ;23(1):6-11

Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, USA.

Objectives: A serious challenge to eliminating US health disparities stems from the inability to reliably measure outcomes, particularly for numerically small populations. Our study aimed to produce reliable estimates of health care quality among Native Hawaiian (NH), Other Pacific Islander (PI), and Asian American (AA) subgroups.

Design: Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality were used to calculate 3 PQI composites and 8 individual chronic condition indicators. Data sources were the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases and the Hawaii Health Survey.

Main Outcome Measures: Risk-adjusted PQI rates for adults were computed for 2005 through 2007. Relative rates for 2007 were calculated for each racial/ethnic group and compared to Whites. Statistical significance was based on P < .05 from a two-sided t test.

Results: The combined AANHPI group had higher overall and chronic PQI composite rates than Whites in 2007. When disaggregated into discrete racial/ethnic subgroups, Chinese and Japanese had lower rates than Whites for all 3 composites, whereas NH and Other PI subgroups typically had the worst health outcomes. Trends in PQI rates from 2005 through 2007 showed persistent gaps between groups, especially across chronic PQIs.

Conclusions: Despite recent efforts to reduce racial/ethnic health care disparities, significant gaps remain in potentially preventable hospitalization rates. Practical tools that measure inequities across diverse, numerically small populations may suggest ways to optimally funnel limited resources toward improving racial/ethnic differences in health outcomes.
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April 2013

Congestive heart failure: who is likely to be readmitted?

Med Care Res Rev 2012 Oct 31;69(5):602-16. Epub 2012 May 31.

Thomson Reuters, Inc., 4301 Connecticut Ave, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20008, USA.

Readmission for congestive heart failure (CHF) is the most common reason for readmission among Medicare fee-for-service patients. Yet CHF readmissions are not just a Medicare problem. This study examined who is likely to be readmitted for CHF, using all-payer hospital discharges from 14 of the states participating in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Patients with the strongest positive association with readmission were discharged against medical advice, covered by Medicaid, and had more severe loss of function and certain comorbidities such as drug abuse, renal failure, or psychoses. Weak negative relationship between readmission and cost of index admission provides some evidence that hospitals with higher readmission rates do not systematically use fewer resources in treating patients in initial encounters. High readmission rate for Medicaid patients suggests that state and federal governments should target Medicaid populations and drug abuse treatment for better care coordination to reduce readmissions and health care costs.
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October 2012

Racial disparities in the frequency of patient safety events: results from the National Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System.

Med Care 2011 May;49(5):504-10

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-1225, USA.

Background: Although there is extensive evidence of racial disparities in processes and outcomes of medical care, there has been limited investigation of disparities in patient safety.

Objective: To determine whether there are racial disparities in the frequency of adverse events studied in the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System.

Design And Subjects: Abstraction of 102,623 randomly selected charts from hospital discharges of non-Hispanic white and black Medicare patients between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007 to assess frequency of patient safety events in 4 domains: general (pressure ulcers and falls), selected nosocomial infections, selected procedure-related adverse events, and adverse drug events due to anticoagulants and hypoglycemic agents.

Measures: Racial disparities in risk of patient safety events, and differences in adverse event rates among hospital groups stratified by percentage of black patients.

Results: Blacks had higher adjusted risk than whites of suffering one of the measured nosocomial infections (1.34; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-1.55; P < 0.001) and one of the measured adverse drug events (1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.19-1.40; P < 0.001). After adjustment for patient and hospital factors, patients in hospitals with the highest percentages of black patients were at increased risk of experiencing one of the measured nosocomial infections (1.9% vs. 1.5%; P < 0.001) and adverse drug events (8.7% vs. 7.8%; P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Hospitalized blacks are at higher risk than whites of experiencing certain patient safety events. In addition, hospitals serving high percentages of black patients have higher risk-adjusted rates of selected patient safety events.
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May 2011

Potentially preventable hospitalizations - United States, 2004-2007.

MMWR Suppl 2011 Jan;60(1):80-3

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

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January 2011

How innovative treatment models and data use are improving diabetes care among older African American adults.

Popul Health Manag 2011 Jun 15;14(3):143-55. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

By 2030, the number of older adults within the United States will have doubled to approximately 71.5 million. Included in this population estimate is the relative growth in the number of older adults of racial and ethnic minority descent. Research has indicated that these individuals, specifically African Americans, have a higher incidence of diabetes than whites, as well as a higher rate of hospitalization compared to whites. This is also true for the older African American. Unfortunately, those with the greatest need for diabetes-related care are least likely to access that care. Moreover, in spite of the indication of need, it is extremely difficult to fully identify strategies that would be optimal for these older minority populations. This paper addresses strategies and techniques to fill gaps in knowledge by detailing efforts, such as the use of health information technologies and multilevel diabetes education teams, to improve the health outcomes of older adult African Americans who have diabetes.
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June 2011

The diabetes primary prevention initiative interventions focus area: a case study and recommendations.

Am J Prev Med 2010 Sep;39(3):235-42

RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2194, USA.

Background: In 2005, CDC began the Diabetes Primary Prevention Initiative Interventions Focus Area (DPPI-IFA), which funded five state Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs (DPCPs) to translate diabetes primary prevention trials into real-world settings by developing and implementing a framework for state-level diabetes primary prevention.

Purpose: The purpose of this case study, conducted in 2007, was to describe DPPI-IFA implementation, including facilitators and challenges to the initiative.

Methods: Case studies of the five DPCPs in the DPPI-IFA involving site visits with key informant interviews of state staff and partners and archival record collection.

Results: Partners recruited for DPPI-IFA activities included local or state public health agencies (three of five DPCPs); regional or state nonprofit organizations (five DPCPs); businesses or employers (three DPCPs); and healthcare organizations (four DPCPs). The DPCPs implemented a variety of interventions in three main domains: diabetes primary prevention and prediabetes awareness, screening activities and lifestyle interventions, and prediabetes-related health policy efforts. Preliminary outcomes are described at the individual and organization/partnership levels. Results suggest the importance of utilizing preexisting partnerships to extend work into diabetes prevention, providing even small amounts of funding to partners, and prior program planning for diabetes prevention. Challenges for the DPPI-IFA included recruiting participants, establishing links with providers to obtain diagnostic testing for people screened for prediabetes, and offering a lifestyle intervention.

Conclusions: The DPPI-IFA represents a unique effort by state public health programs in the translation of diabetes primary prevention trials into real-world settings. The experiences of the DPPI-IFA programs offer valuable lessons for future community-based diabetes prevention initiatives, especially regarding the need to strengthen clinical-community partnerships for referral of people with prediabetes to evidence-based lifestyle programs.
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September 2010

Community variation: disparities in health care quality between Asian and white medicare beneficiaries.

Health Aff (Millwood) 2008 Mar-Apr;27(2):538-49

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Few studies have focused on Asian-white disparities. This study examines the use of selected cancer screening and diabetes services under the traditional Medicare program of whites and Asians by socioeconomic status and among U.S. metropolitan statistical areas in which elderly Asians reside. It demonstrates that existing data, with enrichment, can be used to examine Asian-white disparities. It finds that Asians often receive poorer quality of care than whites, but disparities differ among metropolitan areas. This research enables policymakers to better understand and target resources to address Asian-white disparities at the national and local community levels.
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December 2008