In 2005, the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) funded the National Health Foundation (NHF) to conduct the Los Angeles County Self Pay Study in response to growing private sector concern about perceived increases in uninsured patient use of emergency and inpatient resources. This study found the number of self pay ED visits throughout LA County had not increased between 2000 and 2004 but the number of patients admitted from EDs had by 13%. Additionally, a clear shift had occurred in where the uninsured were going for hospital care. In 2000, public and private sectors each provided half of all hospital care (ED and inpatient) to self pay patients but by 2004 the private sector was providing ED and inpatient care to two out of every three of these patients. This dramatic change in uninsured hospital utilization patterns had policy implications for both public and private sector hospitals throughout LA County.
Concerned that such trends are a bellwether for other counties in the Southland, HASC has approached NHF to replicate the LA County Self Pay Study in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and update the LA County findings. Data from this new study, called the NHF Self Pay Study, aims to answer questions about trends in uninsured hospital care in the LA, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties from 2000 to 2006 such as: 1) have these counties seen increases in the total uninsured utilization, 2) has there been a shift in where uninsured go for their hospital care (e.g., public to private), and 3) if there has been a shift, in which hospitals or regions is it occurring? For more information about this study please contact Andrew Barnes at (213) 538-0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org .