Factors associated with frequent emergency department visits among health centre patients receiving primary care
What does this study add? Patients who used health centers as their usual source of care for three or more years visited the emergency department less often than patients who used health centers for less than three years. Overall, the study explored how patient experiences and care management approaches at health centers might affect how often patients visit the emergency department by analyzing 2014 Health Center Patient Survey (HCPS) data and 2014 Uniform Data System (UDS) data.
What are the implications for the Health Center Program? The findings suggest that patients who regularly access primary care at health centers make fewer visits to the emergency department in the long term. This means upfront costs for primary care may help avoid larger downstream costs. Other HRSA-funded research, such as this article on care for patients with Medicaid coverage and opioid use disorder, also finds that health centers may reduce overall spending on health care.