Who Seeks Emergency Care And Why?: Data From Massachusetts

September 24, 2009

This policy brief based on data from the 2008 Massachusetts Health Reform Survey shows that while health reform in Massachusetts has succeeded in increasing health insurance coverage and access to care, use of emergency departments by working-age residents remains high. Those seeking care in EDs 5/have trouble accessing care in other settings. They are less likely to use a doctors office or private clinic as their usual source of care and they are somewhat less likely to report having a place they usually go to (other than the ED) when they are sick or need advice about their health. And frequent users of emergency rooms (those reporting more than three ED visits in a year) are a sicker, more disabled and chronically ill population than other adults in the state.