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ED Visits for Six Chronic Conditions Contributed to 60 Percent of Hospital Visits Study Finds

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Emergency department (ED) visits for people with at least one of six prevalent chronic conditions varied greatly and contributed to nearly 60 percent of all annual visits at nearly 750 hospitals in 2017, according to a newly released analysis. More than 4.3 million of these visits were potentially preventable and equate to an estimated $8.3 billion in ED costs, suggesting these patients may need more effective primary care services. The analysis published by Premier – Ready, Risk, Reward: Improving Care for Patients with Chronic Conditions – highlights the major opportunity to offer more coordinated and preventative care services in ambulatory care settings to avoid unnecessary ED visits. Premier analyzed 2017 data on nearly 24 million ED visits among patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, heart failure, hypertension and/or a behavioral health condition, such as mental health or substance abuse issues. The findings showed variation in the rate of ED visits by hospital, particularly for patients with behavioral health issues (0.8 – 64.4 percent), diabetes (0.1 – 22.2 percent) and hypertension (0.1 – 48.6 percent).

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