The Doctor is in: How Pediatric Direct Primary Care Reduces Emergency Department Utilization

The influx of ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) to the emergency department (ED) in pediatrics may be avoidable if direct primary care access is available 24 hours per day. According to the Overview of Pediatric Emergency Department Visits, greater than 17% of children (ages 0-18y) in the United States visited the pediatric ED for care in a given year. The goal of our retrospective study is to review the number of pediatric ED visits in the United States compared to the number of visits from pediatric patients having access to direct primary care (DPC). Within a retrospective review spanning 1 year of our DPC study population, we found that 1 in 9 children had visited the ED. This strong correlation shows that direct primary care access may decrease the likelihood of ACSC reaching the ED. Patients with this 24/7 access are able to receive preventative care and have a treatment plan established prior to utilizing the ED for an ACSC. 5


Chad Rudnick, Jennyferd Barco, Ashley Amaya, Paul Gilbert 

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