Rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations down in Pa.

The rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations in Pennsylvania fell 28 percent between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2017, to 158.2 per 100,000 people from 220.9 per 100,000 people, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council reported Thursday.

Philadelphia, with its high rate of poverty, had the highest rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations, at 228.8 per 100,000 residents, down from a rate of 321.7 per 100,000 residents in fiscal 2008, when Philadelphia ranked third behind the much less populous Lawrence and Fayette Counties.

The fiscal 2017 rates per 100,000 residents in other Southeastern Pennsylvania counties were 157.7 in Bucks. 121.1 in Chester, 172.8 in Delaware, and 138.7 in Montgomery.

The Cost Containment Council said that statewide about one in eight hospitalizations, or 12.7 percent, were potentially preventable,  as measured by indicators developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The cost of those stays was $1.2 billion, based on the average Medicare fee-for-service payments.