Association Between Community Social Vulnerability and Preventable Hospitalizations

Rachel Hogg-Graham, Joseph Benitez, Mary E. Lacy, Joshua Bush, Juan Lang, Haritomane Nikolaou, Emily R. Clear, J. M. McCullough, Teresa Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preventable hospitalizations are common and costly events that burden patients and our health care system. While research suggests that these events are strongly linked to ambulatory care access, emerging evidence suggests they may also be sensitive to a patient’s social, environmental, and economic conditions. This study examines the association between variations in social vulnerability and preventable hospitalization rates. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of county-level preventable hospitalization rates for 33 states linked with data from the 2020 Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). Preventable hospitalizations were 40% higher in the most vulnerable counties compared with the least vulnerable. Adjusted regression results confirm the strong relationship between social vulnerability and preventable hospitalizations. Our results suggest wide variation in community-level preventable hospitalization rates, with robust evidence that variation is strongly related to a community’s social vulnerability. The human toll, societal cost, and preventability of these hospitalizations make understanding and mitigating these inequities a national priority.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by grant number K01HS025494 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • preventable hospitalizations
  • social determinants of health
  • social vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Association Between Community Social Vulnerability and Preventable Hospitalizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this