FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 14, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – State health officials reported today that many Connecticut residents are visiting hospital emergency departments when a trip to a primary care facility could suffice. These findings are part of a recent study released by the Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Care Access (OHCA).
The study, “Health Care Services in Connecticut, Availability, Utilization, and Access,” is the first of a three-part approach to planning for Connecticut’s future health care system. This study, along with an inventory of facilities, services and equipment and a Statewide Facilities and Services Plan to be released in 2012, will allow for a comprehensive approach to system-wide planning in order to positively impact the state’s health care system.
“Federal health care reform has the potential to dramatically change the health care system in the coming years, particularly in the availability of primary care services in non-emergent settings” said DPH commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “This study will be instrumental in ensuring that all residents of Connecticut will continue to have access to quality healthcare. By identifying gaps and trends in our current system, we are better able to prepare for the provisions of health care reform that will arise in the next several years.”
Other findings and trends in the study include:
· Adults between 45 and 64 were the fastest growing segment of inpatients.
· Medicaid-covered patients have increased 10% while those with commercial
insurance declined 4%.
· Nearly half of all ED visits occurred when most primary care facilities are open.
· 11% of hospitalization for certain acute and chronic conditions may have been prevented with timely primary care.
The study includes comprehensive data on Connecticut’s socioeconomic characteristics, primary reasons for utilization, and insurance coverage, as well as recommendations for future needs. The study can be viewed in its entirety on the DPH web-site at www.ct.gov/dph.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.