Preventable Measures for Hospitalization In Minority Older Adults with Chronic Illness

A Research Brief by: Erykah Briggs-White

EBWPreventable Hospitalization in older adults can be adversely decreased by allowing minorities that are on Medicare or Medicaid better opportunities to preventative resources. Providing transportation to physician visits, prevention programs and overall awareness on the leading chronic illnesses can lower the rates of readmissions and the prevalence multiple chronic illnesses.

Many determinants can be the reasoning for an older adult to have multiple chronic conditions such as income, education, race, age and gender. These factors can separately affect their general long-term heath when they can be classified to be an older adult. The occurrence of more than one chronic illness that may be deemed preventable is costing hospitals money for readmissions and ambulatory care .

The population of Minority Older Adults can be susceptible to the highest rates of admission. A preventable condition deemed by the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) are angina without procedure, asthma, bacterial pneumonia, CHF (Chronic Heart Failure), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dehydration, diabetes and hypertension.

Studies have shown that older adults who have poor health reside in areas with a shortage of primary care and have higher chances of preventable hospitalization, whereas it has been proven that older adults with a higher continuity of care have reduced hospitalizations. Hospitalization prevention can also be postponed by healthcare professionals by educating and diagnosing patients in timely manner in causality settings, getting patients to re-consider their behavior and implement healthy lifestyles.

Strategy for reducing hospitalization is to target areas that may not have accessibility care. Creating programs that's provide transportation to individuals that cannot make it to their providers can alleviate one of the barriers that this population faces daily. Pushing initiatives that also focus on continuity, which can be determined as the reoccurrence of returning to the same healthcare providers. Implementing continuity, will decrease different providers that are visited and is easier to keep track of the health status of the current patient.

To reduce preventable hospitalizations there are communities that have been created where it can be a one stop shop for older adults. They are considered to be adult daycares where they feed, screen and transport older adults that may not have availability to the resources that they need in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adult day cares are known as all-inclusive preventable places that address conditions as soon as they become prevalent and begin to immediately maintain the condition.

Educating and promoting healthy lifestyles can take help take away the unwanted hospital visits for older adults. Having knowledge of any existing conditions and managing them properly is key. There are organizations such as All -Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides to older adults who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

I would like to thank the University of Michigan Summer Enrichment Program for the opportunity as well as my institution Fayetteville State University. Ms. Sharonda Simmons and Dr. Ebbin Dotson and Chris Clarke