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Home News Decrease of Hospitalization Rates for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions
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Decrease of Hospitalization Rates for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions

Department of Health Reports Decrease of Hospitalization Rates for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions

Results indicate increase in quality outpatient care statewide

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports Ambulatory Care Sensitive Condition (ACSC) hospitalization rates have fallen in the state, an important measure that indicates New Mexicans are getting both more and better out-patient medical care.

Statewide, the overall ACSC hospitalization rates have decreased from 783.8 per 100,000 people in 2015 to 760.9 in 2017.  The highest overall ACSC rates in 2017 were in the rural southwest and southeast regions of the state, a sign the existing healthcare workforce in these two regions has not yet met the needs of the community in addressing preventable hospitalizations.

“New Mexicans with Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions should be getting treatment in an outpatient setting rather than being hospitalized for these conditions,” said Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “While it is encouraging to see the statewide ACSC hospitalization rates decreasing, we need to focus on areas of the state where rates are still high in order to facilitate access to quality primary care.”

ACSCs are divided in two categories: acute and chronic. Acute conditions include dehydration, bacterial pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. Chronic conditions can be illnesses such as diabetes complications, heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, and asthma.

When people are hospitalized for these conditions, it's a sign of a lack of easy access to primary care. These rates are watched closely by both NMDOH and federal agencies to determine where both the quality and availability of out-patient medical care need improvement.

The largest component of the acute conditions ACSC rate for 2017 was for bacterial pneumonia hospitalizations, which was 134.3 per 100,000 population. The largest component of the chronic conditions ACSC rate for 2017 was for “heart failure without a cardiac procedure” which was 255.8 per 100,000 population.

While the overall ACSC hospitalization rates have generally improved from 2015 to 2017, efforts should be focused on southern New Mexico for decreasing hospitalizations for these potentially preventable conditions. Both the NMDOH and healthcare community statewide need to continue to focus on building up the primary care system in rural areas of New Mexico, particularly the southern part of the state.

Please refer to Ambulatory Care Sensitive Condition Hospitalization Rates in NM, 2015-2017 for the full report on ACSC hospitalizations.




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Disminución en las Tasas de Hospitalización por Condiciones Sensitivas de Cuidado Ambulatorio