Use of emergency departments by homeless persons for non-emergency care during oneyear: resource use and cost

Using 2001-2002 Massachusetts emergency department (ED) data, this resource examined the costs associated with non-emergency care for a patient cohort noted to be "homeless". A non-emergency visit was defined by a status other than "emergency" and/or diagnosis not indicating a life-threatening condition or injury. An ED visit profile was established for each patient over a one-year period by tracking all non-emergency ED visits for each patient. 

This study found that only a small percentage of ED visits in one year were for non-emergency problems for homeless persons; however, a considerable cost is generated for problems that could be treated in a less intensive setting. 

Publication Date: 
2005
Publisher(s): 
Elsevier
Pages: 
291-292
Volume: 
8
Issue: 
3
Journal Name: 
Value in Health
Location: 
United States