New Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Findings: Emergency Department (ED) Visits in Rural Hospitals
- Low-income adults ages 18 to 64 accounted for 56% of the 8 million visits made to rural hospital EDs in 2008.
- About 44% of adult visits to rural EDs were either paid by Medicaid (28%), or uncompensated or billed to uninsured patients (nearly 16.5 %).
- Only 31% of visits were paid for by private health plans and 25% were covered by Medicare.
- Top 10 reasons for rural ED visits included:
- Abdominal pain (233,064).
- Back pain (223,248).
- Chest pain from unknown cause (220,647).
- Open wounds (211,587).
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis (159,002) that can make breathing difficult.
Image: Graphic of two clinicians wheeling a patient on a stretcher into an Emergency Department.
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