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K Scott Jefferson Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.



As about 70,000 new refugees are resettled in the United States each year, approximately 600 new refugees are resettled in Philadelphia annually. This project seeks to better understand the patterns of primary, emergency, and in-patient healthcare utilization by refugees resettled in Philadelphia, PA between 2007 and 2016.


Demographic and healthcare utilization data for 1,444 refugees seen at Jefferson Family Medical Associates were compiled from the Jefferson Longitudinal Refugee Health Registry. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic characteristics of the refugee population. Negative binomial count regressions were used to test for significant correlations between major demographic variables and healthcare utilization. Finally, chart reviews of the highest utilizers of emergency and in-patient services were conducted to identify potential trends in diagnoses and chief complaints during visits.


Refugees had an average of 8.17 primary care visits, 0.52 emergency department visits, and 0.10 in-patient care visits from they arrived to 2016. While every refugee had at least one primary visits, 76% recorded 0 emergency department visits and 94% had 0 in-patient visits. Country of origin and year of arrival were significantly associated with healthcare utilization.


Overall refugees utilized healthcare services at rates similar to Americans. Refugees did seek primary care at a slightly higher rate; however, their ED utilization was on par with the U.S. average and the hospitalization rate was slightly lower. There are differences in utilization among various sub-populations within the refugee community. Future studies should further explore these differences in healthcare utilization patterns among recently resettled refugees.

Presentation: 16:37