The number of emergency department visits during April and December of 2020 across 29 states was 25.7 percent lower than the same months of the previous year, and the number that resulted in hospitalization decreased by 9.8 percent in that same time frame, according to an AHRQ brief.
The AHRQ Statistical Brief – Changes in Emergency Department Visits in the Initial Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic (April−December 2020), 29 States – presents data on ED visits from 29 States based on the 2019 and 2020 State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) and a subset of the State Inpatient Databases (SID) that includes information on ED visits that result in an admission to the same hospital. The initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic (April–December 2020) is compared with the same months of the prior year. ED visit volume and ED admission rate (defined as the percentage of ED visits that result in hospitalization) are presented for both time periods across all conditions and for COVID-19-related visits specifically. In addition, the variation in the ED admission rate across the 29 States is provided. Information on changes in ED visit volume and ED admission rate is presented by patient characteristics and for the conditions with the largest percentage increase and decrease between April–December 2019 and April–December 2020.
This analysis is limited to ED visits in 29 States for which HCUP SID and SEDD were available for April–December 2019 and April–December 2020. These States accounted for 61.5 percent of the resident U.S. population in 2020.
- AHRQ Statistical Brief #298: Changes in Emergency Department Visits in the Initial Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic (April−December 2020), 29 States. Oct 2022.