The association between insurance status and diagnostic imaging for acute abdominal pain among emergency department patients in the United States, …

A new interesting article has been published in Curr Med Res Opin. 2019 Aug;35(8):1365-1370. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2019.1585337. Epub 2019 Mar 26. and titled:

The association between insurance status and diagnostic imaging for acute abdominal pain among emergency department patients in the United States, …

Authors of this article are:

Roberts B, Courington R, VerHage E, Ward-Peterson M, Lozano J.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Introduction and objectives: Acute abdominal pain (AAP) is one of the most common complaints in the emergency department (ED). Rapid diagnosis is essential and is often achieved through imaging. Computed tomography (CT) is widely considered an exemplary test in the diagnosis of AAP in adult patients. As previous studies show disparities in healthcare treatment based on insurance status, our objective was to assess the association between insurance status and frequency of CT ordered for adult patients presenting to the ED with AAP from 2005 to 2014. Methods: This study used the National Hospital and Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: Emergency Department Record (NHAMCS) database, which collects data over a randomly assigned 4 week period in the 50 states and DC, to perform an observational retrospective analysis of patients presenting to the ED with AAP. Patients with Medicaid, Medicare or no insurance were compared to patients with private insurance. The association between insurance status and frequency of CT ordered was measured by obtaining odds ratios along with 95% CIs adjusted for age, gender and race/ethnicity. Results: Individuals receiving Medicaid are 20% less likely to receive CT than those with private insurance (OR 0.8, CI 0.6-0.99, p = .046). Those on Medicare or who are uninsured have no difference in odds of obtaining a CT scan compared to patients with private insurance. Additional findings are that black patients are 42% less likely to receive a CT scan than white patients. Conclusions and implications: Patients on Medicaid are significantly less likely to receive a CT when presenting to the ED with AAP. Differences in diagnostic care may correlate to inferior health outcomes in patients without private insurance.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: Abdominal pain;CT scan;Medicaid;Medicare;acute abdomen;diagnostic imaging;insurance status.

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