Insurance patients

Compared to privately insurance patients, individuals who lack insurance or use Medicaid are more likely transfer to another hospital; so after receiving initial treatment in the emergency department (ED). The uninsured are also at greater risk of being discharge from an ED and not admit to the hospital. These findings reveal disparities in access to hospital care; so linked to insurance coverage, said Yale researchers.
hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital; so which typically has an emergency department to treat urgent health problems ranging from fire and accident victims to a sudden illness. A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region; so with a large number of beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care.

Hospitals provide specialized services

Specialize hospitals include trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, children’s hospitals, seniors’ (geriatric) hospitals, and hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs; such as psychiatric treatment (see psychiatric hospital) and certain disease categories. Specialized hospitals can help reduce health care costs compare to general hospitals. Hospitals are classified as general, specialty, or government depending on the sources of income received.
Prior research suggests that uninsured and underinsured patients were more likely to be transfer from the ED to another hospital; so especially if they needed specialized care for an emergency. But other studies failed to account for differences in the ability of hospitals; which is to provide those specialized services, such as intensive care.
To explore the issue further, the Yale researchers analyze data from a national sample of EDs for one year. They include only hospitals that offered critical care to treat three conditions; so commonly seen in the ED: asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Privately insured patients

The research team reviewed more than 200,000 ED visits and found significant differences link with insurance status in whether patients were transferred, discharged, or hospitalized. Patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid were more likely to be transfer than patients with commercial or private pay insurance, said lead author Arjun Venkatesh, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine.

The uninsured also had half the admissions rate of privately insure patients. While the study did not examine the cause of these disparities, financial incentives for hospitals could play a role, said Venkatesh. Hospitals are not reimburse for admitting uninsured patients and they receive lower payments for Medicaid, they noted.
Patients have a guarantee to emergency care, but that really only guarantees a medical screening exam. What our paper suggests is that there may be an access barrier to acute hospital care,” they said. The study authors urge policymakers to recognize this access gap through research and strategies to support coverage for the uninsured and Medicaid recipients.