Accountable Care Organizations and Preventable Hospitalizations Among Patients With Depression

Am J Prev Med. 2020 Jul;59(1):e1-e10. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.01.028. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Abstract

Introduction: Accountable care organizations have been successful in improving quality of care, but little is known about who is benefiting from accountable care organizations and through what mechanism. This study examined variation of potentially preventable hospitalizations for chronic conditions with coexisting depression in adults by hospital accountable care organization affiliation and care coordination strategies by race/ethnicity.

Methods: Data files of 11 states from 2015 State Inpatient Databases were used to identify potentially preventable hospitalizations for chronic conditions with coexisting depression by race/ethnicity; the 2015 American Hospital Association's Annual Survey was used to identify hospital accountable care organization affiliation; and American Hospital Association's Survey of Care Systems and Payment (collected from January to August 2016) was used to identify hospital Accountable care organizations affiliation and hospital-based care coordination strategies, such as telephonic outreach, and chronic care management. In 2019, multiple logistic regressions was used to test the probability of potentially preventable hospitalization by accountable care organization affiliation and race/ethnicity. The test was repeated on a subsample analysis of accountable care organization-affiliated hospitals by care coordination strategy.

Results: Preventable hospitalizations were significantly lower among accountable care organization-affiliated hospitals than accountable care organization-unaffiliated hospitals. Lower preventable hospitalization rates were observed among white, African American, Native American, and Hispanic patients. Effective care coordination strategies varied by patients' race. Results also showed variation of the adoption of specific care coordination strategies among accountable care organization-affiliated hospitals. Analysis further indicated effective care coordination strategies varied by patients' race.

Conclusions: Accountable care organizations and specifically designed care coordination strategies can potentially improve preventable hospitalization rates and racial disparities among patients with depression. Findings support the integration of mental and physical health services and provide insights for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services risk adjustment efforts across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.