Thousands of Pennsylvania Hospitalizations Related to Opioid Use

One in 37 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania last year was related to opioid abuse, researchers found.

One in 37 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania last year was related to opioid abuse, researchers found. Shutterstock

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Opioids are frequently a contributing factor to hospitalizations in Pennsylvania, and not just with overdoses, according to new data.

One in 37 hospital admissions in Pennsylvania were related to opioid abuse in 2017, according to data released this month by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

The state saw a total of 36,712 hospital admissions related to opioids last year, according to the council's research. Overdose was the primary concern in 3,500 of those, while opioid dependence and abuse was a key factor in 2,736 admissions.

“These patients are often experience withdrawal and other symptoms,” according to the report.

In the remaining 30,476 hospital admissions, patients came to the hospital for other afflictions—but also had opioid use disorder. Primary reasons for hospitalization in those cases included mental health disorders, substance abuse and alcohol-related issues, and septicemia and skin infection, common conditions among intravenous drug users.

Statewide, the number of opioid-related hospital admissions remained relatively stable from 2016 to 2017, but more than doubled from 14,711 in 2008 to 29,958 in 2015. Those numbers are likely underreported, the report notes, due to new hospital coding requirements that better identify opioid-related afflictions but did not go into effect until late 2015. (For example, the national rate of opioid-related hospitalizations jumped from 254 to 289 per 100,000 residents immediately following the implementation of the new codes, according to national data.)

The data helps paint a comprehensive picture of opioid addiction in Pennsylvania, according to Joe Martin, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

“These findings show a bigger picture of what we are facing with the opioid crisis and suggest how important it is to get immediate help to those addicted to opioids and to also identify lasting solutions to battle this problem,” Martin said in a statement.

Most commonly, Medicaid paid for the opioid-related hospitalizations, accounting for 44.3 percent of those admissions in 2017 while comprising just 16.9 percent of all hospitalizations. Medicare paid for 27.5 percent of admissions, while commercial payers accounted for 23.5 percent.

Younger people are more affected by opioid addiction. “While residents in age groups 15-34 and 35-54 comprised 35.2 percent of all hospitalizations, they represented 72 percent of the opioid-related admissions,” the report says.

Lower-income communities where the average household income is less than $30,000 per year had the highest rate of opioid-related hospital admissions at 788.6 per 100,000 residents, 128 percent higher than the statewide rate of 345.9. Hospitalization rates were also higher among residents living in urban areas (361.1 per 100,000) than those residing in rural communities (304.9).

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: Young and Homeless in Washington, D.C.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.