1 in 5 ED Patients Referred By Primary Care Doctors
"It is critical to know, for example, how many patients use the ED, how many are admitted to the hospital from the ED, and the top reasons that people seek emergency care," Angela Gardner, MD, ACEP's then president, said at the time.
Among other findings from the current survey, 42.5% of these patients who were not seriously sick enough to be admitted said they believed their problem was too serious for a doctor's office and 54.5% said that only a hospital could help. About 9% arrived by ambulance.
Of those who said they lacked access to any other provider, 48% said their doctor's office was not open, 45.8% said the emergency department was the closest provider. About 17.7% said that most of their care is delivered in an emergency department.
The CDC survey also found that:
- Adults with public health plan coverage were twice as likely as those with no health insurance to visit the emergency department because their doctor's office was not open.
- Uninsured adults were more likely than those with private health insurance or a public health plan to visit the emergency department due to having no other place to go.
- Adults with unmet medical need were less likely than adults without unmet need to visit the emergency department because their doctor's office was not open and more likely to visit because they had no other place to go.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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