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Rising costs in healthcare and increasing volume in Emergency Departments (ED) have sparked interest in examining the most costly and most frequent users of the ED. This study uses data from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience over a two-year period in order to better understand characteristics of superutilizers. Two separate groups of superutilizers were defined in this study: the top 5% most costly superutilizers and the top 5% most frequent users. Characteristics examined for each of these two groups include: gender, age, race, zip code, payer type, number of claims, length of stay, and emergency severity index. Each analysis compared the top 5% versus the bottom 95% for each group. Results were similar to previous research finding that superutilizers were most often older adults with more chronic conditions then non-superutilizers. This leads to the conclusion that superutilizers are less healthy adults who do require more healthcare than non-superutilizers. Future goals include developing and evaluate interventions that address the healthcare needs of these patients.

Presentation: 25 minutes