Dr. Shen is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
Information Systems and Access to Care
Does Decreased Access to Emergency Departments Affect Patient Outcomes? Analysis of Acute Myocardial Infarction Population 1996–2005
Version of Record online: 23 SEP 2011
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 47, Issue 1pt1, pages 188–210, February 2012
How to Cite
Shen, Y.-C. and Hsia, R. Y. (2012), Does Decreased Access to Emergency Departments Affect Patient Outcomes? Analysis of Acute Myocardial Infarction Population 1996–2005. Health Services Research, 47: 188–210. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01319.x
- Issue online: 12 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 23 SEP 2011
- Health Care Financing and Organization. Grant Number: 63974
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Physician Faculty Scholars Program
- National Institutes of Health/National Center for Research Resources
- University of California, San Francisco Clinical and Translational Science. Grant Number: KL2 RR024130
- Emergency department access;
- acute myocardial infarction;
- health outcomes
We analyze whether decreased emergency department (ED) access results in adverse patient outcomes or changes in the patient health profile for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
We merge Medicare claims, American Hospital Association annual surveys, Medicare hospital cost reports, and location information for 1995–2005.
We define four ED access change categories and estimate a ZIP Code fixed-effects regression models on the following AMI outcomes: mortality rates, age, and probability of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) on day of admission.
We find a small increase in 30-day to 1-year mortality rates among patients in communities that experience a <10-minute increase in driving time. Among patients in communities with >30-minute increases, we find a substantial increase in long-term mortality rates, a shift to younger ages (suggesting that older patients die en route), and a higher probability of immediate PTCA. Most of the adverse effects disappear after the transition years.
Deterioration in geographic access to ED affects a small segment of the population, and most adverse effects are transitory. Policy planners can minimize the adverse effects by providing assistance to ensure adequate capacity of remaining EDs, and facilitating the realignment of health care resources during the critical transition periods.