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Study Debunks Myth that Emergency Care is Abused

Tuesday, October 23, 2012   (0 Comments)
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Most Emergency Care Really Urgent 

A study of emergency department patients in different parts of the country challenges the long-time idea that so-called frequent flyers — those who regularly end up in EDs — are abusing their access to emergency care, according to an American Medical Association news story. Instead, a high proportion of these patients have complex chronic conditions and mental disorders and go to the ED when they have urgent need for care. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) notes varied definitions of frequent users, ranging from three times a year to seven times a year. A study of 18 California hospitals showed frequent users account for only 3.1 percent of all patients, but 16 percent of patient visits. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $2.1 million in grants to study high use of emergency care and identify ways to improve care for frequent users. Listen to the ACEP tele-conference here. .

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