225861 Impact of socioeconomic variables on Emergency Department visits : An analysis of New Jersey zip codes using New Jersey State Emergency Department discharge data from 2005 to 2008

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Bongguk Jin, Ph D , New Solutions Inc. & Beacon Health Informatics., New Brunswick, NJ
Don Dykstra , New Solutions Inc. & Beacon Health Informatics, New Brunswick, NJ
Nancy Erickson, MSW , New Solutions Inc., New Brunswick, NJ
Barriers to primary care often result in patients presenting in Emergency Departments and using the ED as their main source of care. This study is intended to confirm this notion by examining the impact of seven selected socioeconomic barriers on ED visit rates through an analysis of New Jersey Zip Codes. Of the 551 Zip Codes in which population data were reported, the rates of poverty, unemployment, education, linguistic isolation, black, Hispanic, rental population, Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSC) and non ACSC ED visits were identified for the analysis. The results show that all the seven socioeconomic variables were significantly correlated to both ACSC and non ACSC rates. Of the seven variables, poverty had the highest correlation with ACSC(r= .79,p<0.0001) and non ACSC (r=.69,p<0.0001) rates, and regression analysis shows that poverty was the strongest predictor of both ACSC and non ACSC. Education was the second most important predictor of both ACSC and non ACSC rates, but its impact was greater on non ACSC rates. Poverty, unemployment, education, linguistic isolation, black, and rental population rates successfully explained 73% of ACSC rates. In the modeling of non ACSC visit rates, black and Hispanic rates were dropped, and the remaining variables explained 62% of non ACSC rates. The findings confirm the notion that EDs are used as the source of primary care for the population characterized by lower socioeconomic status, and further found the impact of selected socioeconomic variables is stronger on ACSC than non ACSC ED visit rates in New Jersey.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the casual factors for Emergency Department use rates being higher in some areas than in others from socioeconomical perspective. 2. Identify those socioeconomic barriers which can cause a disparity in healthcare access.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because in my position at New Solutions inc., I am responsible for research and analytical analysis of all aspects of the firm's research activites including risk adjusted studies of quality outcomes and resource utilization, survey research and development of analytical research projects. I recently completed development of a community health index for each zip code in New Jersey.
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.

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