High hospital admission rates and inappropriate care

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Diagnosis-Related Groups; Health Care Surveys; Health Services for the Aged; Hospitals; Humans; Massachusetts; Medicare; Patient Admission; *Regional Health Planning; Small-Area Analysis; United States; Unnecessary Procedures


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


This study tests whether the rate of inappropriate hospital admissions is high in areas with high medical admission rates. Seventy small geographic areas were formed by grouping Massachusetts ZIP codes by similarity of hospital use. Appropriateness of hospital admission was measured both by applying the Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol and by applying physicians' judgment to the medical records of patients age sixty-five and older who were admitted for treatment of a medical condition in 1990-1992. No relationship between hospital admission rate and inappropriate admission rate was found, which calls into question the common assumption that areas with higher hospital use have more inappropriate use of hospital care.


Health Aff (Millwood). 1996 Winter;15(4):156-63. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Health affairs (Project Hope)

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed