Hospitalized younger: a comparison of a national sample of homeless and housed inpatient veterans.

University of Colorado/Denver Health Division of General Internal Medicine, USA.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (Impact Factor: 1.1). 03/2007; 18(1):173-84. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.2007.0000
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Homelessness is associated with high rates of hospitalizations and age-adjusted mortality. Few studies have examined whether homeless people are admitted to the hospital at an earlier age than the general population or for different diagnoses.
We compared the age at admission and the primary discharge diagnoses in a national sample of 43,868 hospitalized veterans.
The difference in median age between homeless and housed inpatients ranged from 10-18 years for medical-surgical diagnoses and 3-4 years for psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses (p#.005 for all diagnoses). Homeless veterans were more likely to have been admitted for psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses (79.9%), compared with housed veterans (29.1%).
Substance abuse and psychiatric illness account for the majority of admissions among homeless veterans. Among all diagnostic groups, homeless people were admitted at younger ages. Our findings suggest that homeless people have either a more rapid disease course, leading to earlier morbidity, or lower admission threshholds sufficient to generate hospital admission.

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We compared service use among homeless and nonhomeless veterans newly enrolled in a medical home model and identified patterns of use among homeless veterans associated with reductions in emergency department (ED) use. Methods. We used case-control matching with a nested cohort analysis to measure 6-month health services use, new diagnoses, and care use patterns in veterans at the Providence, Rhode Island, Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2008 to 2011. Results. We followed 127 homeless and 106 nonhomeless veterans. Both groups had similar rates of chronic medical and mental health diagnoses; 25.4% of the homeless and 18.1% of the nonhomeless group reported active substance abuse. Homeless veterans used significantly more primary, mental health, substance abuse, and ED care during the first 6 months. Homeless veterans who accessed primary care at higher rates (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 1.92) or who used specialty and primary care (RRR = 10.95; 95% CI = 1.58, 75.78) had reduced ED usage. Homeless veterans in transitional housing or doubled-up at baseline (RRR = 3.41; 95% CI = 1.24, 9.42) had similar reductions in ED usage. Conclusions. Homeless adults had substantial health needs when presenting for care. High-intensity primary care and access to specialty care services could reduce ED use. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 22, 2013: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301632).
    American Journal of Public Health 10/2013; 103. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301632 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Limited research exists that investigates hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) among the homeless, who frequently lack a usual source of care. This study profiled ACSC admissions for homeless patients.Methods Bivariate analyses and logistic regression were completed to investigate ACSC and non-ACSC admissions among homeless patients using the 2010 California State Inpatient Database.ResultsHomeless patients admitted for an ACSC were mostly male, non-Hispanic white, and on average 49.9 years old. In the predictive model, the odds of an ACSC admission among homeless patients increased when they were black, admitted to the emergency department or transferred from another health facility. Having Medicare was associated with a decreased odds of an ACSC admission.Conclusions Specific characteristics are associated with a greater likelihood of an ACSC admission. Research should examine how these characteristics contribute to ACSC hospitalizations and findings should be linked to programs designed to serve as a safety-net for homeless patients to reduce hospitalizations.
    BMC Health Services Research 10/2014; 14(1):511. DOI:10.1186/s12913-014-0511-7 · 1.66 Impact Factor