Main content area The Role of Charity Care and Primary Care Physician Assignment on ED Use in Homeless Patients

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Homeless patients are a vulnerable population with a higher incidence of using the emergency department (ED) for noncrisis care. Multiple charity programs target their outreach toward improving the health of homeless patients, but few data are available on the effectiveness of reducing ED recidivism. The aim of this study is to determine whether inappropriate ED use for nonemergency care may be reduced by providing charity insurance and assigning homeless patients to a primary care physician (PCP) in an outpatient clinic setting.


Homeless persons and the under insured tend to use the emergency services for non emergency conditions as this is the only way they can get care.


Overall, our study showed frequent inappropriate ED visits among homeless patients. Simply providing charity care and PCP assignments is insufficient to significantly redirect this cohort of patients to access the health care system in a more cost-effective manner. Recognizing ED visit patterns and committing to alternative resources and interventions should be considered as viable means to minimize inappropriate ED use among the homeless population.


I really like what you wrote about emergency departments and multiple charity programs to solve the homeless health issues. It is a great idea to study more about how providing insurance for that group of people will benefit them and the health care system.