Mental disorders and/or substance abuse related to one of every eight emergency department cases
Nearly 12 million visits made to U.S. hospital emergency departments (EDs) in 2007 involved people with a mental disorder, substance abuse problem, or both, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This accounts for 1 in 8 of the 95 million visits to EDs by adults that year. Of these visits, about two-thirds involved patients with a mental disorder, one-quarter was for patients with a substance abuse problem, and the rest involved patients dealing with both a mental disorder and substance abuse.
AHRQ's analysis also found that for the 12 million ED visits involving mental health and/or substance abuse problems:
- Depression and other mood disorders accounted for 43 percent of the visits, while 26 percent were for anxiety disorders, and 23 percent involved alcohol-related problems.
- Mental health and/or substance abuse-related visits were two and a half times more likely to result in hospital admission than visits not involving mental disorders and/or substance abuse. Nearly 41 percent of mental disorder and/or substance abuse-related visits resulted in hospitalization.
- Medicare was billed for 30 percent of all mental health and/or substance abuse ED visits; private insurance was billed for 26 percent; the uninsured for 21 percent; and Medicaid 20 percent.
This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Mental Health and Substance Abuse-Related Emergency Department Visits among Adults, 2007 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb92.jsp).
The report uses statistics from the 2007 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, an AHRQ database that is nationally representative of ED visits in all non-Federal hospitals. The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample contains 26 million records from ED visits from approximately 1,000 community hospitals nationwide. This represents 20 percent of all U.S. hospital EDs.
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