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Trends in Emergency Department Visits, 2006–2011: Statistical Brief #179.


Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2006-.
2014 Sep.


There has been an overall increase in emergency department (ED) visits over the past two decades. However, ED visits for specific conditions have shown varying patterns, and visits for some conditions have decreased in recent years. There are a number of factors that may affect both positive and negative trends in growth for condition-specific ED visits. Some of those factors are personal, such as an individual’s specific health condition. Other factors are related to the community where the individual lives—for example, the availability of health care options. Changes in health care are reflected in ED use. For example, with improved care coordination some conditions may now be more effectively managed in the outpatient setting, which reduces the need for the acute care provided by EDs., Updated information about trends in ED use over time reveals the changing needs of individuals in the community and emerging transformations in health care policies. This HCUP Statistical Brief presents data on changes in overall ED visits from 2006 through 2011. ED visit rates are reported by patient demographic characteristics and tracked by patient age. Changes in ED visit rates for the most common conditions and the conditions with the greatest changes also are provided. Changes in rates are considered statistically significant if the p-value is 0.05 or less.

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