Bottom Line: This study analyzed 215,000 emergency department (ED) visits to 160 U.S. hospitals to see if patients with the common conditions of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma were more likely to be discharged from the ED or transferred to another hospital after being stabilized based on their insurance status. Researchers report differences based on insurance. After adjusting for other factors, uninsured patients and patients insured by Medicaid were at higher risk of being transferred to another hospital than privately insured patients. Uninsured patients were more likely to be discharged than privately insured patients but Medicaid patients had similar risk of discharge. A limitation of the study is its use of administrative data, which lacked details on the severity of illness and hospital bed availability.
Authors: Arjun K. Venkatesh, M.D., M.B.A., M.H.S., Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and coauthors
Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA Internal Medicine