- The rate of emergency department use in the U.S. was illustrated to be strikingly high as of 2012, with 20% of the population (both adults and children) visiting an ED at least once, according to new data from the CDC.
- The year saw an estimated 131 million ED visits, at a rate of 42 visits per 100 persons.
- The data came from NHAMCS, a national, annual survey of visits to hospital-based outpatient departments, EDs, and ambulatory surgery centers, which is conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Among the report's key findings were the number of ED visits nationwide resulting in hospital admission was 11%, and that private insurance was the most common form of payment for 29% of ED visits, followed by Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at 25%, Medicare at 18%, no insurance at 14%, and "other and unknown insurance" at 13%.
The report's special focus, however, was on stats for the top five most populous states: New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Illinois, which accounted for 36% of all ED visits nationwide. "Some of the observed differences are notable but not significant because there were too few cases to detect significant differences," the report concluded.
Among the key findings for those states:
- ED visits per 100 persons among the five most populous states were comparable to the national average of 42, ranging from 37 in New York to 49 in Texas.
- The percentage of ED visits resulting in hospital admission were notably higher than the national average of 11% in California at 16% and in Florida at 17%.
As far as key findings around payment:
- Illinois stood apart from the national average with its percentage of ED visits using Medicaid or CHIP as the expected form of payment at 34% compared to the lower national percentage of 25%. At the same time, its percentage of ED visits using private insurance was 23% compared to the higher national percentage of 29%.
- Florida was notable for its percentage of ED visits using Medicaid or CHIP at just 16% compared to the higher national percentage of 25%.