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Hospital-Level Neighborhood Opportunity and Rehospitalization for Common Diagnoses at US Children's Hospitals

      Abstract

      Objective

      Neighborhood conditions influence child health outcomes, but data examining association between local factors and hospital utilization are lacking. We determined if hospitals’ mix of patients by neighborhood opportunity correlates with rehospitalization for common diagnoses at US children's hospitals.

      Methods

      We analyzed all discharges in 2018 for children ≤18 years at 47 children's hospitals for 14 common diagnoses. The exposure was hospital-level mean neighborhood opportunity – measured by Child Opportunity Index (COI) – for each diagnosis. The outcome was same-cause rehospitalization within 365 days. We measured association via Pearson correlation coefficient. For diagnoses with significant associations, we also examined shorter rehospitalization time windows and compared unadjusted and COI-adjusted rehospitalization rates.

      Results

      There were 256,871 discharges included. Hospital-level COI ranged from 17th to 70th percentile nationally. Hospitals serving lower COI neighborhoods had more frequent rehospitalization for asthma (ρ −0.34 [95% confidence interval −0.57, −0.06]) and diabetes (ρ −0.33 [−0.56, −0.04]), but fewer primary mental health rehospitalizations (ρ 0.47 [0.21, 0.67]). There was no association for 11 other diagnoses. Secondary timepoint analysis revealed increasing correlation over time, with differences by diagnosis. Adjustment for hospital-level COI resulted in 26%, 32%, and 45% of hospitals changing >1 decile in rehospitalization rank order for diabetes, asthma, and mental health diagnoses, respectively.

      Conclusions

      Children's hospitals vary widely in their mix of neighborhoods served. Asthma, diabetes, and mental health rehospitalization rates correlate with COI, suggesting that neighborhood factors may influence outcome disparities for these conditions. Hospital outcomes may be affected by neighborhood opportunity, which has implications for benchmarking.

      Keywords

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