Variations in Rates of Hospitalization of Children in Three Urban Communities
Perrin, James M.
Homer, Charles J.
Berwick, Donald M.
Woolf, Alan D.
Freeman, Jean L.
Wennberg, John E.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1989 May 4; 320(18): 1183-1187.
A large portion of the expenditures for child health care in the United States goes to cover hospitalization. Studies have indicated substantial variations in hospitalization rates of children across different geographical areas, which may account for regional differences in the cost of children's health care. The authors studied hospitalization rates among children in three urban areas where teaching hospitals provide most of the hospital-based care: Boston, Rochester (NY), and New Haven (CT). The study found sizable differences in the rates of hospitalization. Although data regarding socioeconomic status and insurance coverage were not available, the authors speculate that these factors might help to explain some of the variations in admission rates. Perrin, et al., conclude that the implications of their data regarding cost and quality of care remain speculative, and recommend further study of the way decisions to hospitalize children are made. (KIE abstract)
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