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Study: More than two-thirds of ER visits avoidable

Published
  • May 29 2013, 1:00am EDT

More than two-thirds of the 6.5 million emergency room visits for people under age 65 are avoidable, according to a study released by Truven Health Analytics. The study examined insurance claims data for over 6.5 million emergency department visits made during the 2010 calendar year and found that just 29% of patients required immediate attention in the emergency room.

About 72% of emergency room visits made by patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage are for causes that do not require immediate attention in the emergency room, or are preventable 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.

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