Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Study Confirms Poor, Uninsured not to blame for ER Crowding

Washington, DC A growing portion of the population is visiting emergency departments, and there has been a continuous rise in the proportion of heavy emergency departments users (defined as three or more visits a year) between 1996 and 2005. A study published online today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reports that the percentage of people using the emergency department increased nearly 9 percent during that period ( The Changing Profile of Patients Who Used Emergency Department Services in the U.S.: 1996-2005 ).

Read the Report

The Changing Profile of Patients Who Used Emergency Department Services in the United States: 1996 to 2005

Growing numbers of elderly and chronically ill people are visiting the emergency department, and many of them are visiting multiple times in a year, said lead study author K. Tom Xu, PhD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. Furthermore, patients who visit the ER three or more times a year increased 28 percent in just three years, from 1999 to 2002. We saw increases among blacks, the elderly, patients with two or more types of health insurance and patients in poor health. There was a decrease in visits for the uninsured.

Researchers found the number of non-institutionalized people who visited the emergency department increased from 34.2 million to 40.8 million, representing an increase from 12.7 percent to 13.8 percent of the U.S. population. The largest increase occurred between 1999 and 2001. Between 1999 and 2002, the proportion of people who visited the emergency department three or more times increased from 5.9 percent of the population to 7.5 percent of the population.

Our study confirms that the poor and the uninsured are not the main contributing factors to emergency department crowding in recent years, said Dr. Xu. The burden on emergency departments of caring for elderly patients has increased a lot in the last decade. Our aging population will create additional challenges in the training of future emergency physicians and in health care reform overall.

Annals of Emergency Medicineis the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians, a national medical society with more than 28,000 members. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. For more information visit www.acep.org.

RELATED ARTICLES

Where in the World of EMS is A.J. Heightman? At a Special Paramedic Graduation in St. Paul, Minn.

A.J. is in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Minnesota area this week as the keynote speaker at the Inver Hills Community College combined paramedic gra...

Seven Dead, Dozens Injured in Philadelphia Amtrak Crash

Over 140 passengers transported to hospitals after Amtrak train derails overnight.

Arkansas Couple Dies Saving Daughter from Tornado

Twister flips trailer over as parents shield 18-month old daughter with their bodies.

Second Major Earthquake Hits Nepal

Rescuers move out to search for victims after a magnitude-7.3 earthquake hits Kathmandu region.

New D.C. Fire Chief Faces New Delayed Ambulance Investigation

DCFEMS Chief Gregory Dean and Emergency Management Director Chris Geldart apologize for ambulance delay.

Google Confirms Self-Driving Car Accidents

Cars have been involved in 11 accidents since experiment began.

Features by Topic

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers