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Majority Of ER Visits Avoidable, Study Finds

04/25/13

  01:05:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 147 words,  
Categories: Announcements

Majority Of ER Visits Avoidable, Study Finds

More than two out of three emergency room visits are avoidable, finds a new study by Truven Health Analytics.

According to Employee Benefit News, researchers examined insurance claims data for over 6.5 million emergency department visits made in calendar year 2010 and found that just 29% of patients required immediate attention in the emergency room.

Of the 72% of ER visits made by patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage that were non-emergencies, or could have been prevented with proper outpatient care:

  • 24% did not require immediate attention;
  • 42% received care that could have safely been provided in a primary care setting; and
  • 6% received care that would have been preventable or avoidable with proper primary care.

The study authors concluded that steering just 10% of these unnecessary visits to a physician’s office would produce a net savings of $18.68 in total allowed costs per health plan member per year – a total potential savings of $461 million annually.

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