201726 Health care utilization of resettled hurricane Katrina victims displaced to a neighboring city

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nnaemeka Okafor, MD , Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX
Mandy J. Roberts, DrPH, MPH , Emergency Medicine, University of Texas, Medical School, Houston, TX
David Robinson, MD, MS , Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX
Objective: Provide descriptive healthcare utilization data for a population resettled from a natural disaster area to a large metropolitan city.

Methods: Resettled Katrina victims (KV) identified from EMS run calls from 8/04-8/05 were cross referenced with EMRs of hospitals within the Houston city. Descriptive data from a subset of this population is arranged by demographics, health data, and utilization data.

Results: The KV data contained 865 unique visits from 352 patients, 562/865 (65%) women, 87.6% African-American, 16% were uninsured, and 69.4% had (medicare/-aid). 52.5% visits required EMS services, 29.9% were hospitalized, and 5.9% required the ICU. The majority of KV were ages 21-40 (154/352, 53.8%), female (68.1%), required EMS (46.2%), and seen for < 24 hours (59.7%), or admitted (23.7%). This subgroup represented 45.3% of the total cohort and 43.8% of the total visits; 322 (77.2%) had insurance, and 22.8% were uninsured. In contrast, the Elderly KV (>65 yrs, 79/352) were 73% female, 93.5% insured. The elderly cohort required more EMS services (57.6%), admissions (59.1%), ICU care (12.1%); had inpatient stays > 2 days (35%), or > 7 days (17.7%). The elderly KV represented 12.8% (45) of the cohort but utilized 15.3% of the KV cohort's visits. The younger cohort (n=154) required 14,072 hrs of health related care versus 15,583 hrs for the 45 elderly KV cohort.

Conclusions: The elderly required more overall health system resources but were better insured, suggesting that the elderly should be recognized as a leading recipient of health care resources of disaster victims.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the acute health care utilization patterns of a population of patients that required a forced resettlement to a neighboring city due to a natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina)

Keywords: Health Care Utilization, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is an IRB approved trial that I have conducted for nearly 2 years. I am presently enrolled in a masterís degree program in health informatics. My interests are in acute health care policy and informatics. I am also board certified in Emergency Medicine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.