Navigation Links
Researchers Produce First Nationwide Study of Homeless in ERs
Date:8/7/2009

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first national study of homeless people's use of emergency rooms finds that homeless patients are more likely to arrive at the hospital by ambulance and more than twice as likely to be uninsured.

One-third of homeless patients arrived by ambulance -- at an estimated cost of almost $67 million, according to the researchers.

Analyzing almost half a million emergency room visits by homeless people, West Virginia University doctors also found that the homeless were more likely to receive more than two diagnostic tests -- a higher number compared with other patients.

At the same time, WVU researchers found no difference between the urgency of the medical emergencies in comparing both populations. The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

"The thing that surprised me the most was that acuity levels -- how sick the person was -- and hospital admissions rates were similar in comparing the homeless population to people with residences," said lead author Gary Oates, M.D., a WVU emergency medicine physician. "The sicker you are, the sooner you need to be seen by a doctor when you come to the emergency department. And the homeless patients were no sicker than others, looking at total visits to emergency departments nationwide."

Despite that, more diagnostic tests were ordered than for other patients. "This may be because emergency physicians needed to do baseline blood work because the homeless patient didn't have a primary care doctor," Dr. Oates explained. "Or it could be because the homeless population may be more prone to falls or injuries from assault -- injuries that may require x-rays."

Studying emergency room use is important in the context of the current national healthcare reform effort, Oates said.

"We already know that homeless patients make emergency room visits four times more often than others and are among the most frequent repeat visitors," he said. "Our study is the first study to look at data nationwide and compare the homeless population in terms of insurance status, use of ambulance transport, hospital admission rate, acuity level and other factors."

Two-thirds of the homeless patients were white and three-quarters were male.

The study's data came from the 2005 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, with information on more than 100 million emergency room visits during that year.

Federal hospitals were not represented in the data set, so populations such as homeless veterans were not included in the sample.

The study's other authors are Allison Tadros, M.D., also a WVU emergency medicine physician, and Stephen M. Davis, research coordinator for the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine.


'/>"/>
SOURCE West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Yerkes researchers propose ambitious new strategies for AIDS vaccine research
2. Researchers Identify New Method to Selectively Kill Metastatic Melanoma Cells
3. Researchers identify new method to selectively kill metastatic melanoma cells
4. Researchers effectively treat tumors with use of nanotubes
5. Fox Chase researchers identify differences in treatments and outcomes of patients with second primary lung cancers versus those with one primary lung cancer
6. Researchers Discover the Tale Behind Short Dogs
7. Higher drug doses needed to defeat tuberculosis, UT Southwestern researchers report
8. Mayo researchers find anesthesia not harmful for babies during birth process
9. Mayo Researchers Find Anesthesia Not Harmful for Babies During Birth Process
10. Pinpointing cause of colic: UT Houston researchers identify organism
11. Zucker Hillside Researchers to Receive Large Federal Grant to Test for the Early Treatment of Schizophrenia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... in intellectual property (IP) to its specialty academic programs. , Answering to the ... college’s existing certificate programs in health law, and environmental and land use law. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia ... negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in ... week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Farmingdale, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... and Hereditary Retinal Degeneration” for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Long Island Chapter on ... free to the public. , Dr. Maisel, founder of Retina Group of ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Leadership ... solutions, today announced the organization has earned its ISO 13485 certification, indicating the ... compliant with all rules and policies associated with ISO quality standard 13485. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Nike ... of activities from daily practices, arts & crafts, discussions, and games all geared ... and Christy Evans have combined backgrounds in kids’ yoga, collegiate sport yoga instruction, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... TARE (Transarterial Radio-embolization) Using ... and Overall Decreased Use of Hospital Resource ... specialist healthcare company, has today announced the publication ... of ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes ... using yttrium-90 glass microspheres is associated with cost ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Massachusetts , May 26, 2016 ... (NGS) has matured into an essential life science tool ... and development applications. BCC Research reveals in its new ... a second growth phase, one powered by a range ... fields.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... According to a new market ... 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Cosmeceutical/Plastic Surgery), by Application ... Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast to 2021", published by ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 117.3 Million in 2016, at a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: