Characteristics of Emergency Department Visits for Super-Utilizers by Payer, 2014

Authors
J. Joanna Jiang
Audrey J. Weiss
Marguerite L. Barnett
Brief/Report
February 2017

This resource analyzes nationwide 2014 ED data across 13 geographically dispersed US states. Findings include:

  • For ED visits covered by Medicaid, high-need, high-cost patients were on average older than other patients.
  • For patients under age 65 years, a greater share of ED visits among high-needs, high-cost patients were discharged against medical advice compared with ED visits among other patients.
  • Mental health visits constituted a greater share of ED visits among high-need, high-cost patients than among other patients, regardless of payer.
  • Nonspecific chest pain was the most common first-listed diagnosis for ED visits among Medicare high-need, high-cost patients aged 65 years and older.
  • Urinary tract infection was the fourth most common first-listed diagnosis for ED visits among Medicare high-need, high-cost patients aged 65 years and older.
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Key Questions Answered
  • What are the characteristics of emergency department (ED) visits for high-need, high-cost patients compared with national benchmarks?
  • How do these characteristics vary by payer?
Level of Evidence
Promising
What does this mean?