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Analysis of Emergency Department Encounters Among High Users of Health Care and Social Service Systems Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Key Points

Question: Did emergency department (ED) use decrease among the top 5% of high users of health care and social services in San Francisco County during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Findings: In this cohort study of 8967 individuals, the rate of ED visits decreased by approximately 25% during the pandemic compared with nonpandemic years.

Meaning: Factors associated with decreased ED encounters and health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic among previously high users are not clear and warrant further investigation.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants M21PR3278.

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