Primary Care Access Key to Reduce Chronic Illness ED Utilization

The social determinants of health are impacting primary care access, leading to a number of preventable emergency department (ED) visits among patients managing chronic illness, according to a recent analysis from the Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation (CHART) at the New Jersey Hospital Association.

These findings confirm that a number of social determinants of health – or factors that impact a patient’s ability to be healthy – get in the way of adequate patient care access.

Chronic disease management should primarily occur in the primary care setting, with occasional care coordination with specialty providers. The emergency department (ED), known for its high costs and long wait times, is hardly the most efficient place for chronically ill patients to receive care.

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