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California Makes Gains In Keeping People Out Of Hospitals

— A new report shows California is doing a better job at keeping people out of the hospital. The study reveals how individual counties performed compared to statewide averages over a ten-year period.

The report comes from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. It looks at hospitalizations that could have been avoided had a person received proper care.

San Diego County performed better than the state average for a variety of conditions, including congestive heart failure. It had poor numbers for hospitalizations due to long-term complications from diabetes.

State analyst Mike Kassis said the report provides valuable information.

"I think it's important for us to give these numbers out," Kassis pointed out, "because it's an indication of how the health system is performing, and how we as individuals are performing and caring for ourselves."

Overall, hospitalizations declined about 6.8 percent from 1999 to 2008. Even so, California racked up more than 3 billion dollars in health care costs in preventable hospitalizations in 2008.

Kassis says these should decrease as more people become insured through health care reform.

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