Socioeconomic determinants of overnight and weekend emergency department use for acute rhinosinusitis

Regan W. Bergmark, Stacey L. Ishman, George A. Scangas, Michael J. Cunningham, Ahmad R. Sedaghat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Prior work has shown Medicaid and self-pay insurance status is associated with emergency department (ED), rather than outpatient clinic, presentation for uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis (ARS). We investigate whether the disparate use of ED resources for this nonemergent condition by patients with Medicaid and self-pay insurance can be attributed to presentation overnight or on weekends. Study Design Cross-sectional survey of 990,849 patients from the 2009 and 2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey presenting to EDs with uncomplicated ARS. Patients with orbital and intracranial complications of ARS were excluded. Methods Univariate and multivariate associations identified demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including insurance status, which were independently associated with overnight (between 5 pm and 7 am) or daytime weekend ED presentation for uncomplicated ARS. Results Medicaid or self-pay insurance status was associated with evening/overnight ED presentation (odds ratio-=-1.88, P =.018) in comparison to private or Medicare insurance. However, weekend daytime ED presentation was not associated with Medicaid or self-pay insurance statuses (P-=-.144). Income and education levels of patients' zip codes, taken as markers of socioeconomic status, were not associated with either evening/overnight or daytime weekend ED presentation for uncomplicated ARS (P->-.05). Conclusions ARS patients with Medicaid or self-pay status, previously shown to preferentially use EDs for uncomplicated ARS, were more likely to present for overnight ED care compared to patients with private insurance or Medicare. These findings suggest a potential lack of access to extended-hours primary care during evenings and nights for Medicaid patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2441-2446
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Sinusitis
  • emergency service
  • healthcare delivery
  • healthcare disparities
  • hospital
  • insurance
  • socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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