Uncompensated care and emergency department utilization: A local study having national implications

Timothy Rotarius, Antonio Trujillo, Lynn Unruh, Myron D. Fottler, Aaron Liberman, Sharon D. Morrison, Dianne Ross, Kendall Cortelyou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article provides a comprehensive picture of the manner in which uncompensated care patients utilize the emergency departments (EDs) of two Central Florida hospitals. Specifically, this study assesses the impact of treating uncompensated and primary care patients in ED settings on scarce hospital and community resources. Recommendations are being offered to manage a troubling situation that is occurring with alarming frequency in today’s health care system throughout the United States. Special emphasis is placed on recommendations addressing alternative triage and financing models that are considered to be both socially responsible and economically viable. The results of this study suggest strongly that health care organizations must find an alternative to the current trend in ED utilization, in order to meet the primary care needs of patients and not compromise the care provided to those with emergent conditions. The recommendations emanating from this study outline a mechanism that can improve the timeliness of emergency care to those in need, while at the same time, making available primary care resources to those seeking services through an emergency department.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalHealth Care Manager
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Admission type
  • Bad debt
  • Care
  • Charity care
  • Emergency
  • Outpatient care
  • Ratios (uncompensated charges, collection, charity, bad debt)
  • Routine care
  • Uncompensated care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning


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