Dr. Cyril Chang published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine

For release:  February 15, 2016

Dr. Cyril Chang, professor of Economics and director of the Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics, has had a paper accepted for publication in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Chang co-authored the paper with Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan from the University of Memphis School of Public Health and researchers from Northwestern University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the Illinois Department of Health.

The study used a multiyear nationally representative database to examine the association between availability of paid sick leave and frequency of emergency department (ED) use among US private sector employees. It found that the availability of paid sick leave is associated with a lower likelihood of ED utilization for moderate (1-3 times/year) as well as repeated users (4 or more times/year), after adjusting for all other factors. Additionally, the effect of paid sick leave is stronger for frequent ED users. The study thus suggests that paid sick leave, in addition to its many known benefits, has the additional benefit of reducing unnecessary visits to the hospital emergency departments and easing the overcrowding problem.