Online Program

National Healthcare Utilization Patterns Among People with Disabilities

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Emily Lauer, MPH, Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research, E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Eric A. Lauer, MPH, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
People with disabilities are being recognized as a minority population which experiences greater healthcare utilization and disparities.  The 2011 National Health Interview Survey was used to assess healthcare utilization among the people with disabilities; 40,508,592 people or 17.76% of respondents reported having a disability. However, this subpopulation is responsible for high rates of health service utilization compared to people without disabilities. 46.7% of people who received care from healthcare professions 10 times or more and 40.7% of people who spent a night in a hospital in the past year had a disability. Overall, in the past year people with disabilities were significantly more likely to have seen a healthcare professional 10 or more times, (OR=5.58, 95%CI:4.94-6.30); been in a hospital overnight, (OR=3.76, 95%CI:3.30-4.29); been in a hospital for two or more separate overnight visits, (OR=3.01, 95%CI:2.37-3.84) than people without disabilities. Men (OR=6.57, 95%CI:5.46-7.90) and women (OR=4.96, 95%CI:4.28-5.75) with disabilities are more likely to report having seen a healthcare professional 10 or more times in the past year than people without disabilities. Health disparities are compounded by the combination of disability in racial and ethnic minorities. Whites (OR=5.38, 95%CI:4.70-6.17), Blacks (OR=6.72, 95%CI:5.11-8.85), Asians (OR=5.81 95%CI:3.15-10.72), and other races (OR=8.44 95%CI:3.37-21.16) with disabilities are more likely to report having seen a healthcare professional 10 or more times in the past year than their racial counterparts without disabilities. Results suggest significantly greater healthcare utilization among people with disabilities; further research is needed to understand the drivers and efficacy of this care.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe patterns of healthcare utilization among people with disabilities in the United States.

Keyword(s): Disabilities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-investigator on several federally funded grants studying disability and health. My scientific interests include disability, mental health, epidemiology, and public health.
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.