Freestanding Emergency Departments Preferentially Locate In Areas With Higher Household Income

Health Aff (Millwood). 2017 Oct 1;36(10):1712-1719. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0235.


Freestanding emergency departments (EDs) are a relatively novel phenomenon, and the epicenter of this movement is in Texas. Limited evidence exists about the communities in which freestanding EDs locate or the possible reasons behind location choice. We estimated logistic regressions to determine whether freestanding EDs in 2016 were more likely to be in areas of high demand or in those that could yield high profits. When we compared Public Use Microdata Areas that contained freestanding EDs and those that did not, we found that areas with such EDs had significantly higher household incomes. This finding was driven by the location choices of independent freestanding emergency centers and not by those of hospital-affiliated satellite emergency centers.

Keywords: Free standing emergency departments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / economics
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / supply & distribution*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / economics*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Texas