These hospitalizations drive up costs and are tough on patients
Many people end up in the hospital unnecessarily. A diabetic has trouble getting to the doctor and then fails to get the preventive foot exams that would have saved him from being admitted to the hospital with a major foot infection. These potentially preventable hospitalizations among adults cost over $31 billion per year in the United States.
Among states with available data, West Virginia has the highest per person costs for these hospitalizations, at $176 per person, according to tallies from the RWJF Data Hub. Following West Virginia are New Jersey at $171, Kentucky at $160 and Rhode Island at $159. Utah spends the least, at $47 per person.
Utah also has the lowest rate of these hospitalizations with 916 per 100,000 people in the population in 2009. The highest rate was in Kentucky, where 2,560 such hospitalizations occurred for every 100,000 people.