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AHRQ Stats: Gender and Emergency Department Visits

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A new Healthcare Cost and Utilisation Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief found of the nation’s $76.3 billion cost for emergency department (ED) visits in 2017, 56 percent of visits were for females at a cost of $42.6 billion while 44 percent were for males at a cost of $33.7 billion. The average cost per ED visit increased with age, from $290 for patients aged 17 years and younger to $690 for patients aged 65 years and older. The expected payer with the largest share of aggregate costs was private insurance in large metropolitan areas (31.4 percent of $39.5B) and Medicare in micropolitan (34.0 percent of $7.6B) and rural (37.3 percent of $5.5B) areas.

The Brief presents statistics on the cost of ED visits in the United States using the 2017 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). Total ED charges were converted to costs using HCUP Cost-to-Charge Ratios based on hospital accounting reports from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ED visits include patients treated and released from the ED, as well as those admitted to the same hospital through the ED. Aggregate costs, average costs, and number of ED visits are presented by patient and hospital characteristics. 

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