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

Authors
J. Joanna Jiang
Audrey J. Weiss
Marguerite L. Barnett
Brief
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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Population Addressed
Adults Under 65 with Disabilities
People with Advanced Illness
Frail Older Adults
People with Multiple Chronic Conditions
People with Behavioral Health and Social Needs
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?