Massachusetts residents are frequent users of emergency department (ED) care, with high levels of use continuing despite significant improvements in access to care as a result of the states 2006 health reform initiative. In an effort to better understand ED use in Massachusetts, this policy brief looks at ED use among working-age adults, focusing on reported reasons for using the ED and barriers to obtaining needed health care among ED users. Findings show adult ED users in Massachusetts are a sicker, more disabled, and more chronically ill population and report more difficulties obtaining care in the community and more unmet need for care than other adults in the state. Potential strategies for addressing preventable ED use include efforts targeted to specific care settings and particular population groups.
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