A new report suggests that about one in five adults in the United States visits the emergency room (ER) at least once a year.
The new report – published on Thursday (Feb. 18) as a CDC National Health Statistics Report – is based on a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results showed that about 6.5 percent of American adults said that they visited the ER two or more times in 2014, and eighteen percent said they visited the ER at least once.
Researchers also found that men tended to go to the ER less that women did, with sixteen percent of men who visited the emergency room and twenty percent of women.
Moreover, young people were also more likely to visit the ER. In 2014, twenty percent of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four stated that they ended up in the ER at least once that year, compared with 17.5 percent of people ages forty-five to sixty-four, and seventeen percent of people between the ages of thirty to forty-four.
Almost eighty percent of all the adults said that they went to the ER because of their medical problems were severe. That being said, seven percent went due to lack of access to other health care providers, and twelve percent went because their doctor’s office was closed at the time, the report stated.
Previous research has shown that people who have private insurance are less likely to visit the ER, compared with individuals who have Medicaid or those who are uninsured. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, almost eight million Americans gained health insurance from 2013 to 2014. During that time, the percentage of people who visited the ER two or more times decreased from eight percent to six percent.
Depending on insurance type, there were some differences in ER visits, the researchers said. For instance in 2014, thirty-five percent of adults on Medicaid went to the ER, compared with fourteen percent of adults with private insurance, and 16.5 percent of people without insurance.
Perhaps the adults who are on Medicaid have an overall poorer health, which prompted them to visit the ER more often, according to the researchers. Compared with adults without insurance and those with private insurance, the adults on Medicaid were the ones who reported that their ER visit were mostly because of the seriousness of their medical problems.
Image Source: googleusercontent