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National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2011: With Special Feature on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2012 May.

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Health, United States, 2011: With Special Feature on Socioeconomic Status and Health.

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Utilization and Access

Prescription Drug Use

Between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008, the percentage of children and adults who had used three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days increased.

In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $250 billion in 2009, accounting for 12% of personal health care expenditures (Table 128). Between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008, the use of three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days increased for all age groups of males and females. Some of the most commonly used prescription medications were asthma medicines and central nervous system stimulants for children and adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults, and cholesterol-lowering and high blood pressure control drugs for older Americans (Table 100).

Figure 16 consists of two line graphs, one for males and one for females, showing use of three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days, by age group, for 1988 through 1994, 1999 through 2002, and 2005 through 2008.

Figure 16Use of three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days, by sex and age: United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2002, and 2005–2008

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2011.htm#fig16

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2011, Table 99. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Emergency Department Visits

Between 2000 and 2010, use of the emergency department by children and adults under 65 years of age was highest among those with Medicaid coverage.

Nationwide, there has been concern about appropriate use of emergency services and crowding of emergency departments (18). Between 2000 and 2010, children and adults under 65 years of age with Medicaid coverage were more likely than those with private coverage or the uninsured to have used the emergency department in the past 12 months. In 2010, adults 18–64 years of age with Medicaid coverage were twice as likely to have had at least one emergency department visit in the past 12 months as those with private coverage or the uninsured.

Figure 17 consists of two line graphs showing emergency department visits within the past 12 months among children under 18 years of age and adults 18 to 64 years of age, by type of health insurance coverage for 2000 through 2010.

Figure 17Any emergency department visit within the past 12 months, by age and type of coverage: United States, 2000–2010

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2011.htm#fig17

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2011, Tables 93 and 94. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Delay or Nonreceipt of Needed Medical Care or Prescription Drugs Due to Cost

Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of adults 18–64 years of age who delayed or did not receive needed medical care or prescription drugs due to cost increased for the uninsured and those with private coverage.

Delaying or not receiving needed medical care or prescription drugs may result in more serious illness, increased complications, and longer hospital stays (19,20). Between 2000 and 2010, delay or nonreceipt of needed medical care in the past 12 months due to cost for those 18–64 years of age increased among those with private coverage and the uninsured while remaining stable among those with Medicaid. During this period, the percentage of adults 18–64 years of age who did not receive needed prescription drugs in the past 12 months due to cost increased among those with private coverage, Medicaid, and the uninsured.

Figure 18 consists of two line graphs for adults 18 to 64 years of age, with one showing those who did not get or delayed seeking needed medical care in the past 12 months due to cost and one showing those who did not get needed prescription drugs in the past 12 months due to cost, by type of health insurance coverage, for 2000 through 2010.

Figure 18Delay or nonreceipt of needed medical care or prescription drugs in the past 12 months due to cost among adults 18–64 years of age, by type of coverage: United States, 2000–2010

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2011.htm#fig18

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2011, Table 79. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

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