Low Adherence to Post Emergency Department Follow-Up Among Hypertensive Patients With Medical Insurance

Stephanie D. Cornell, Melissa A. Valerio, Trudy Krause, John Cornell, Lee Revere, Barbara S. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Improvement in hypertension control in the insured, adult population could improve morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension in the United States. The emergency department (ED) is a potential site of intervention, where individuals are diagnosed with asymptomatic hypertension and referred to primary care. Objective: To inform intervention strategies, we identified risk factors of nonadherence to primary care follow-up among individuals aged 18–60 years with a primary discharge diagnosis of asymptomatic hypertension in the ED. Methods: Data were obtained from a commercial claims database for January 2012–September 2015. A total of 84,929 individuals were included. Rate of nonadherence to primary care follow-up was determined for individuals billed for a primary discharge diagnosis of essential hypertension. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios. The relationships between demographic and clinical variables with nonadherence to follow-up were assessed. Results: Two-thirds of the study population did not adhere to follow-up within 30 days of ED discharge. Risk factors for nonadherence included no history of recent visit with primary care (odds ratio [OR] 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.81–1.93) and multiple prior ED visits (OR 1.65; 95% CI 1.57–1.73). Protective characteristics included history of filling antihypertensive prescriptions in the last year (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.40–0.43); or history of filling a 30-day antihypertensive prescription on day of diagnosis (OR 0.83; 95% CI 0.80–0.87). Conclusions: Individuals without a recent primary care visit or who visit the ED frequently are at higher risk of nonadherence to follow-up for hypertension, despite medical insurance. Insurance status may not overcome individual level barriers to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • antihypertensives
  • emergency department
  • follow-up
  • hypertension
  • primary care
  • referral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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