Delco’s Hospital Super-Utilizers on the Decline

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A new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council shows that Delaware County is reducing its rate of hospital super-utilizers.

A new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council shows that Delaware County is successfully reducing its rate of hospital super-utilizers.

Super-utilizers are patients who are admitted to a hospital five or more times a year, creating a strain on health care resources. In 2016 alone, there were 21.7 super-utilizers per 10,000 residents costing nearly $1.25 billion in hospital payments in Pennsylvania.


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“Many of Pennsylvania’s super-utilizers have chronic health needs,” said Joe Martin, executive director of PHC4. The “results from this brief can help policy makers and health care professionals determine the best approach to care for these patients while containing costs.”

According to the research, Delaware County’s rate of super-utilizers over the last year was 21 per 10,000 residents, which puts it under the state average. It’s also lower than both the 2012 average of 28.8 and the 2014 average of 22.2.

Last year, the three main causes for a super-utilizer’s stay in a Delaware County hospital were a mental health disorder with 481 admissions, sepsis at 435, and heart failure with 323. These are also the top three causes statewide.

The county with lowest rate of hospital super-utilizers is Pike, with six per 10,000 residents, while Philadelphia tops the list at 33.4.

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Top photo credit: NIHClinicalCenter Patient Talking With Doctor via photopin (license)

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