Large Increase Shown in Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Thoughts

Issue #556
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
February 28, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Chronic Conditions

Among adults with health care expenses in 2014, those treated for multiple chronic conditions had average out-of-pocket expenses that were more than three times as high as expenses for adults with one or no chronic condition ($13,031 versus $3,579). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #498: Out-of-Pocket Expenditures for Adults with Health Care Expenses for Multiple Chronic Conditions, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2014.)

Today's Headlines:

Large Increase Shown in Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Thoughts

The rate of emergency department (ED) visits by adults with suicidal thoughts increased by 12 percent on average each year from 2006 to 2013, more than doubling during that seven-year period, according to a new AHRQ statistical brief Among ED patients with suicidal thoughts in 2013, the most common mental health-related conditions were mood disorders (76 percent), substance-related disorders (43 percent) or alcohol-related disorders (30 percent). Patients were more likely to be male, between the ages of 18 and 64, and either uninsured or covered by Medicaid. About 12 percent of patients visited the ED with a co-occurring injury, and such injuries were more common among females. For more information, access the statistical brief, Emergency Department Visits Related to Suicidal Ideation, 2006-2013. The analysis follows previous AHRQ publications on suicide, including a recent evidence report on youth suicide prevention and a chartbook providing data on suicide related to mental health and substance abuse.

New Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet), which highlights journal publications, books and tools related to patient safety, has featured a new set of articles including:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Privately Insured Patients Living In Areas With High Uninsured Rates Pay More for Emergency Care

Among people with private health insurance, those living in counties with high uninsured rates pay more for hospital emergency department (ED) visits than people living in counties with lower uninsured rates, new AHRQ research has found. The higher costs for ED visits in counties with high uninsured rates were not found in people who were covered by Medicare or Medicaid or who were uninsured. AHRQ researchers reviewed more than 26,000 ED visits nationwide between 2009 and 2013 to examine the validity of the so-called "spillover effect," which maintains that the cost of treating uninsured patients could affect health care costs for those with private health insurance. They estimated that a one percentage-point increase in a county’s uninsured rate was associated with a $20 increase in an average ED payment. The analysis was based on data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, as well as from the U.S. Census Bureau. Researchers cautioned that their findings are tentative and require further study. Their findings appear in the February 2017 issue of Health Services Research. Access the abstract.

Featured Case Study: Seattle Hospital Improves Patient Safety With AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit

Harborview Medical Center, a level I trauma center in Seattle, used AHRQ’s Toolkit for Using the AHRQ Quality Indicators as a cornerstone in efforts to improve patient safety. The hospital measured a 21 percent decrease in the rate of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism among postoperative patients in less than four years. Access the case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Supporting parents of premature infants transitioning from the NICU to home: a pilot randomized control trial of a smartphone application. Garfield CF, Lee YS, Kim HN, et al. Internet Interv 2016 May;4(Pt 2):131-7. Epub 2016 Jun 4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Current practice of antibiotic prophylaxis for surgical fixation of closed long bone fractures: a survey of 297 members of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. Gans I, Jain A, Sirisreetreerux N, et al. Patient Saf Surg 2017 Jan 16;11:2. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Paternal and maternal testosterone in parents of NICU infants transitioning home. Garfield CF, Simon CD, Rutsohn J, et al. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs 2016 Oct/Dec;30(4):349-58. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Receipt of cancer screening is a predictor of life expectancy. Goodwin JS, Sheffield K, Li S, et al. J Gen Intern Med 2016 Nov;31(11):1308-14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Risk of jaw osteonecrosis after intravenous bisphosphonates in cancer patients and patients without cancer. Goodwin JS, Zhou J, Kuo YF, et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2017 Jan;92(1):106-13. Epub 2016 Nov 19. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Infectious disease hospitalizations among American Indian/Alaska native and non-American Indian/Alaska native persons in Alaska, 2010-2011. Gounder PP, Holman RC, Seeman SM, et al. Public Health Rep 2017 Jan/Feb;132(1):65-75. Epub 2016 Dec 12. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Medical assistants as flow managers in primary care: Challenges and recommendations. Gray CP, Harrison MI, Hung D. J Healthc Manag 2016 May-Jun;61(3):181-91. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Challenges for nurses caring for individuals with peripherally inserted central catheters in skilled nursing facilities. Harrod M, Montoya A, Mody L, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2016 Oct;64(10):2059-64. Epub 2016 Sep 7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed February 2017
Page originally created February 2017
Internet Citation: Large Increase Shown in Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Thoughts. Content last reviewed February 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.