Navigation Links
Free clinics reduce emergency department visits
Date:1/23/2013

HERSHEY, Pa. -- People who receive primary care from free clinics are less likely to use the emergency department for minor issues, according to a team of medical researchers.

Nationally, the number of emergency departments (EDs) has decreased yet the number of ED visits has gone up, the team reported. Therefore, it is important to figure out how to reduce unnecessary ED visits.

According to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, there are more than 1,200 free clinics nationwide. Many of these clinics work in cooperation with one of their local hospitals.

Wenke Hwang, associate professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and his colleagues analyzed records of uninsured patients from five hospitals and four free clinics across neighboring Virginia communities.

Over three years, 52,010 individual uninsured patients visited at least one of the hospitals' five emergency departments a total of 99,576 times. The researchers found that approximately 10 percent of those ED visits were by patients who had been treated at free clinics associated with the hospitals in the first two years studied. Their results are reported in a recent article in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Hwang compared the diagnoses at the time of admittance to the emergency department between the free clinic patients and the non-free clinic patients. The five most common diagnoses were identical for both groups -- sprains and strains, disorders of teeth and jaw, superficial injury or contusion, abdominal pain and back problems. The secondary diagnoses were not as similar for the two groups, but the researchers found mental health and substance abuse to be the most common underlying condition for both groups of uninsured patients.

"Emergency department visits by free clinic patients were less likely to require the lowest levels of care, suggesting uninsured free clinic users were less likely to use the emergency department as their primary care provider," the researchers wrote.

The researchers determined that half of the ED visits in this study were avoidable, using the measurements the hospitals themselves use. By providing primary care for the uninsured, free clinics are able to help reduce non-emergency visits to the ED.

"The emergency department is an extremely expensive and inefficient way to handle many problems that show up there," said Hwang. "If hospitals support local free clinics, the ED will be less crowded and therefore have less need for expensive expansions. Free clinics are the cheaper solution."


'/>"/>

Contact: Victoria M. Indivero
vmi1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Popularity of Walk-In Retail Health Clinics Growing: Poll
2. Doctors Who Self-Refer to Radiation Clinics Add to Patients Burden: Study
3. Use of retail medical clinics continues to grow, study finds
4. Despite clear benefits, heart failure clinics are rarely utilized
5. Federally funded clinics for low-income patients as effective as private practices
6. University of Louisville study dispels concerns about drive-thru flu clinics
7. Playing for Fun May Reduce Young Athletes Injuries
8. Study explores whether sleeping pills reduce insomniacs suicidal thoughts
9. NetSPI Works with RSA to Help Joint Customers Reduce Business Risk through Improved Vulnerability Threat Management
10. Exposure to COI policies during residency reduces rate of brand antidepressant prescriptions
11. Amputations among people with diabetes can be reduced by 50 percent
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across ... in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their ... award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s ... the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: