Access could cut 4.4M hospitalizations a year

If Americans had better primary care, better access to treatment and made some important lifestyle changes, about 4.4 million hospitalizations per year could be avoided, according to a new report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The report said that these savings would represent 10 percent of all hospital costs for 2004.

With care access and improved lifestyles, the U.S. could have saved $8.3 billion in preventable hospitalizations for congestive heart failure, $7 billion for bacterial pneumonia, $3.4 billion for COPD and $2.6 billion on diabetes complications. It also found that $509 million could have been saved with better treatment for high blood pressure.

To learn more about the research:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece
- read the AHRQ report (.pdf)

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