Ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) are defined as a set of medical conditions for which hospitalization would be avoided in the presence of timely and effective primary care and have therefore been used as an indicator of poor primary care. The purpose of this paper is to test whether the incidence of avoidable hospitalizations (AHs) in Italy differs across three groups of the population: Italians, documented immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. The analysis is carried out using the universe of hospital discharge records for the year 2016. We compute AH odd ratios controlling for several socio-demographic variables and a large set of geographical fixed effects. The findings show that, compared to the Italian group, AHs are statistically more frequent among the documented and the undocumented populations, the effect being stronger for the latter. We also provide separate evidence on chronic, acute and vaccine-preventable ACSC, which suggests that access to general practitioners is effective in preventing AHs for chronic diseases. We conclude that both legal and non-legal barriers to health care not only worsen the health outcomes of part of the population but also cause an avoidable burden to the health care system.
Speakers Chiara Allegri & Carlo Devillanova, Università Bocconi