skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Hospital Catchment Areas Characteristics and Geographic Regions Associated With Higher COVID-19 Veterans Health Administration Hospitalization During the Omicron Surge.

Wong MS, Frochen S, Steers WN, Washington DL. Hospital Catchment Areas Characteristics and Geographic Regions Associated With Higher COVID-19 Veterans Health Administration Hospitalization During the Omicron Surge. Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP. 2023 Sep 1; 29(5):E198-E207.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

CONTEXT: Surges in the ongoing coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and accompanying increases in hospitalizations continue to strain hospital systems. Identifying hospital-level characteristics associated with COVID-19 hospitalization rates and clusters of hospitalization "hot spots" can help with hospital system planning and resource allocation. OBJECTIVE: To identify (1) hospital catchment area-level characteristics associated with higher COVID-19 hospitalization rates and (2) geographic regions with high and low COVID-19 hospitalization rates across catchment areas during COVID-19 Omicron surge (December 20, 2021-April 3, 2022). DESIGN: This observational study used Veterans Health Administration (VHA), US Health Resource and Services Administration's Area Health Resources File, and US Census data. We used multivariate regression to identified hospital catchment area-level characteristics associated with COVID-19 hospitalization rates. We used ESRI ArcMap's Getis-Ord Gi* statistic to identify catchment area clusters of hospitalization hot and cold spots. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: VHA hospital catchment areas in the United States (n = 143). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hospitalization rate. RESULTS: Greater COVID-19 hospitalization was associated with serving more high hospitalization risk patients (34.2 hospitalizations/10 000 patients per 10-percentage point increase in high hospitalization risk patients; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 29.4, 39.0), fewer patients new to VHA during the pandemic (-3.9, 95% CI: -6.2, -1.6), and fewer COVID vaccine-boosted patients (-5.2; 95% CI: -7.9, -2.5).We identified 2 hospitalization cold spots located in the Pacific Northwest and in the Great Lakes regions, and 2 hot spots in the Great Plains and Southeastern US regions. CONCLUSIONS: Within VHA's nationally integrated health care system, catchment areas serving a larger high hospitalization risk patient population were associated with more Omicron-related hospitalizations, while serving more patients fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 and new VHA users were associated with lower hospitalization. Hospital and health care system efforts to vaccinate patients, particularly high-risk patients, can potentially safeguard against pandemic surges.Hospitalization hot spots within VHA include states with a high burden of chronic disease in the Great Plains and Southeastern United States.





Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.