Study: Insurance Loss Or Acquisition Means More ER Visits
News outlets report on findings published in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
MedPage Today: ER Use Up with Any Change in Insurance
Changes in health insurance status -- whether gaining or losing coverage -- are associated with increased likelihood of an emergency department (ED) visit, researchers said. Among some 160,000 people completing the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2004 to 2009, both newly insured and newly uninsured respondents reported using an ED in excess of 30% more often than those who were continuously insured (Gever, 3/26).
Modern Healthcare: Shifts In Coverage Status Tied To ER Use: Study
The newly insured may have deferred treatment when uninsured and may continue to struggle to find primary-care access, the researchers said. The newly uninsured "may experience a sudden decrease in access to care and require EDs for medical services," the paper said. Healthcare providers should also expect more emergency room demand, the researchers said. "Although in our study only 7.8% of U.S. adults had changes in health insurance status during the prior 12 months, legislative and economic factors are poised to increase the frequency of recent gain or loss of insurance," they wrote (Evans, 3/26).
HealthyCal: Study: Newly Insured Use ER More
While it has been anticipated that the expansion of insurance coverage might lead to more visits to an already over-burdened primary care system, many policymakers seem to have counted on a reduction in emergency room visits. ... But if covering more people leads to even more visits to emergency rooms, then those anticipated savings may not materialize (Weintraub, 3/26).