The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 50.7 million of Americans did not have health insurance in 2009, an increase of 4.4 million from 2008. The increasing number of the uninsured population is not the only shortcoming that the U.S. health care system is facing. The crisis of overcrowded emergency departments (EDs) has been documented in various systematic surveys. This study evaluated whether health insurance status effects the utilization of EDs, as well as the appropriateness of ED use by persons with different health insurance status. The author found that ED use varied by race, age and health insurance status. ED use was associated with health insurance status. Young adults (aged 19 to 29), white and persons with Medicaid were more likely to have had at least one ED visit within the 12-month period of 2007 than those in other insurance groups. The uninsured were no more likely than the insured to have had at least one ED visit. Frequency of ED use was also associated with health insurance status, with Medicaid beneficiaries being the most likely to have had more than one ED visit. Strategies to help reducing overcrowding within the ED and improving the health coverage for uninsured young adults were discussed.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health care management|
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