Use of emergency department services among adults with disabilities
The purpose of this study is to assess disparities in access to health services among individuals with disabilities. In this study, we examine the overall emergency department (ED) use, frequent ED use, and ED use for non-urgent conditions among adults with disabilities. We further assess whether individual-level factorsdemographic, socioeconomic, and health statusaffect the utilization behaviors using the logit model. Frequent ED use is defined as having five or more ED visits in a year. A non-urgent ED visit is defined using the New York University ED-classification. The study hypothesizes that minority groups such as Blacks and Hispanics have higher odds of overall, non-urgent, and frequent ED use compared to Whites. Furthermore, individuals with disabilities and those on public insurance have higher odds of overall, non-urgent, and frequent ED use compared to individuals without disabilities and the privately insured. Our population is adults aged 18-64 years in panels 7-11 in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Higher rates of ED use by individuals with disabilities may signal worse health status, environmental safety issues, barriers in access to care, and inefficient use of health care resources. The results of this study may facilitate investigations designed to identify mitigating and contributing factors that determine ED use among adults with disabilities, in turn spurring researchers to design targeted interventions and guiding policymakers in the decision-making process.
Public health or related research
Assess disparities in access to health services among individuals with disabilities.
Compare the ED use behaviors between minority groups (Blacks and Hispanics) and Whites.
Compare the ED use behaviors between public and private insurers.
Identify individual factors associated with overall ED use, frequent ED use, and use for non-urgent conditions.
Presenting author's disclosure statement: