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Emergency Room, Emergency Department, Urgent Care

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Average Cost for People with Hospital ER Visit, 2014, MEPS  Editor's Pick

Average expenses for people who had one or more visits to the Emergency Room were $1533 in 2014, up 7.7% from 2013 according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Median, or typical, cost was $749. For people ages 45 to 64, the cost was substantially higher on average ($2176, up 18%). Uninsured people under age 65 averaged $1251 in expenses ($585 median), of which they paid more than 1/3 out of pocket. While average cost for those age 65 and up was generally $1300-1400, Medicare recipients paid only 3 to 6% out of pocket. Median charges for children under age 18 were $449 to $544

Emergency Medical Services (MedlinePlus)

Includes multiple reports by the American College of Emergency Physicians, on topics such as ER waiting times, ED costs, family member presence in the emergency department

Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

Should you go to the Emergency Department (ER), or to an urgent care center? Useful overview, by a private for-profit company urgentcarelocations.com

Pediatric Emergency Care Guidelines (2009)

The American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines for medical and nursing leadership, equipment, medications and protocols for treating children in the Emergency Department. Collaborative effort with other professional associations, 2009. Free full text

Trauma Programs: Verified Trauma Centers (ACS)

Level I, II and III Trauma Centers are listed here, by state (and other international locations), at the American College of Surgeons' website. Trauma Center designation is a voluntary process that hospitals may choose to pursue for Adult and/or Pediatric care. Level I is the highest level of five levels.

Truth about ER Visits: 2011 Data from CDC (2014 pdf)

CDC's 2011 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey reveals the median (typical) waiting time to see a physician or other provider in the Emergency Dept. was 27 minutes (see Table 4). About 60% arrived outside of the M-F 8a to 5p hours. Percent admitted or transferred to another hospital: 13.3%. Main reasons for visit: stomach pain, cramps or spasms; chest pain and fever. Headaches, cough and back pain also common. Of the 40 million injury-related visits, 26% were for falls - almost three times the rate of motor-vehicle traffic related injuries seen in Emergency Rooms. Published Nov. 2014

Urgent Care - When Should I Go?

Example of a health system's suggestion for using a clinic Urgent Care setting vs. a hospital Emergency Room. Example is from Scripps in California

Other Helpful Listings

Accredited Healthcare Facilities - Joint Commission Accreditation (all states)  Editor's Pick

The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO - Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes (called nursing care centers) & assisted living centers, and other health care services. Click on View Report and National Quality Improvement Goals to see actual scores for acute care hospitals 2016-2017

Air Ambulance - Air Medical Base Locations by State

Atlas and Database of Air Medical Services (ADAMS) lists air medical service providers, number of aircraft, and geographic coverage. Supported by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). No utilization data. Updated Sept. 2010

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Injuries, 2015 (pdf)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued its annual report of injuries and deaths from ATVs. Injuries brought 97,200 people to the ER in 2015, with 27% of them (26,700 kids) under age 16. Injuries have declined about 36% since 2007 overall. In 2015 there were 340 ATV deaths, a number that is expected to increase in future reports. Report released January 2017

AMA: 271 Clinical Performance Measures for Physicians, 2012 (pdf)  Editor's Pick

The American Medical Association's Consortium for Performance Improvement has agreed on 271 measures in 42 clinical topics, that are supported by evidenced-based clinical guidelines. Topics include diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart care, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, pneumonia, emergency care, prenatal testing, cancer screening, smoking, prostate cancer care, ear and eye problems, depression, surgical infection prevention, GERD, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, substance abuse, wound care and more. Written for medical professionals, but consumers might learn something about appropriate physician care

Arkansas Hospital Volumes, Prices, Quality Ratings - by name of hospital

Find average charges (a proxy for average costs) for 40 common hospitalizations at specific AR hospitals by Clicking on INPATIENT PRICING after you've selected your hospital. Price List varies by hospital, but may include maternity and childbirth, stroke, chest pain, stomach disorders, back pain, nutritional problems (diabetes), blood infection (septicemia), rehabilitation, heart attack, cardiac cath, drug coated stent, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, urinary infection, COPD, pneumonia, total hip or knee replacement surgery, hysterectomy, psychiatric care, ventilator support and more. Note: Definitions conflict for whether data such as Volumes are Medicare-only, or reflect all patients. To find quality scores on emergency department, heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, delivery or surgical infections, and patient opinions, click on QUALITY at each hospital's page. Hospital Consumer Assist is provided by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Prices from 2014; Quality and Patient Satisfaction scores reflect 2015 ratings

Emergency Dept. Report - Florida 2013 data (pdf)

Summary report shows average cost (charges) for a hospital ER visit based on acuity. Low acuity Pediatric visit was about $800 in 2013; high acuity pediatric ER visit was about $2400. For adult women, low acuity mean charge was $1526; High acuity average 2014 charge for men was $5512. Common symptoms (e.g. $7482 for abdominal pain visit to the ER; $1651 for upper respiratory infection visit; $3058 for a sprain; $4809 for headache including migraine, urinary tract infection averaged $48570 and more. Costs increased with age. See Tables 4 and 5 for average prices for an emergency visit and Insurance status or Self-Pay charges. 21 pages, published by FL Agency for Health Care Admin. Oct. 2014

Florida ER Visit Charges, 2016 (interactive)

Find the average cost of an emergency room (ER / ED) visit at each Florida hospital in 2016. State average ER cost (charge) was $5518 (about $49Billion for nearly 9 million ED visits). North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville had the highest average charge in FL at a whopping $14,320 per ER visit in 2016. Only 1 hospital had an average charge of $1000 or less. Complexity and seriousness of the visit vary from hospital to hospital. Easy to use tool, but not diagnosis-specific. From FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

Georgia Health Insurance Plan Ratings and Comparisons 2016

Compare quality ratings and member satisfaction scores for Medicaid, Amerigroup, WellCare, PeachState and PeachCare in GA. Covers access to care, dental visits, ADHD medications, ER visits, diabetes care, postpartum care, provider satisfaction, member opinions and more for 2015-2016. View one plan at a time. Released by Georgia Dept. of Community Health at dch.georgia.gov

How Much Does an Office Visit cost compared to an ER visit?

An average physician office visit in 2008 cost $199, compared to $922 for an Emergency Room visit (median was $89 for doctor's visit, vs. $422 for ER). Top 5 conditions shown for each ambulatory care visit type. Consumers should expect considerably higher prices since 2008. MEPS data published in Statistical Brief #318, March 2011

Louisiana Hospital Ratings and Prices - LA Hospital Inform

Search by Parish. Must click on View Reports on the left side of page to see LA hospital-specific selected inpatient charges (e.g. child birth, C-section, hip or knee surgery, gall bladder removal, appendectomy, heart problems, stent, cardiac cath, stomach problems, stroke, kidney failure, COPD, pneumonia, more); outpatient Medicare prices include ER visits, heart tests such as cardiac cath, EKG, stress test, echo; CT scan, MRI, x-ray and ultrasound, GI endoscopy, mammography, more. Quality scores similar to those at HospitalCompare, but may be less current. Louisiana Hospital Inform is sponsored by the Louisiana Hospital Association; Prices from 2009 (outpatient and inpatient)

Massachusetts Hospital Staffing Plans 2015

Massachusetts Hospital Association website presents each hospital's unit-by-unit staffing plans for 2015, by shift, and actual staffing for 2014 (and prior years). First in the country to voluntarily post nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. May be difficult for consumers to interpret to compare MA hospital performance, especially with all the different types of inpatient units. However, the Emergency Room information also includes specialties such as Chest Pain Center and Stroke Center, and volume of ER visits. Massachusetts PatientCareLink; click on Staffing Plans

Michigan Hospital Prices, Patient Opinion and Quality Ratings

Michigan Hospital Association's Keystone Center web site shows Medicare charges, and how much Medicare pays after they apply federal discounts (for an idea of average cost) and volumes for the top 50 most common inpatient and 50 outpatient services at nonprofit hospitals. Includes services like clinic visit (without the doctor's charge), ER visit, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound. Inpatient conditions like stroke, hip, knee or ankle surgery, GI problems, psych admission, heart problems also show average Medicare charges. Compare quality of Emergency transfers from critical access hospitals in rural areas. Patient Satisfaction (HCAHPS) and Quality ratings like those at CMS hospital compare are listed for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infection prevention, except the dates may be older here and no side-by-side comparisons. Prices from 2010-2011, one hospital at a time

Minnesota: How Much Does It Cost? (word doc)

Short document from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, 2005, displays average charges (from 2003) for nearly 50 common medical treatments (including endoscopy, ear tubes, hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, having a baby, and some prescription drugs), using Minnesota data. An interesting comparison is the cost for the same problem (e.g. sore throat or ear ache), depending on whether the patient seeks office care, urgent care or ER care. This report adds together charges from both the hospital and the physician - not commonly seen in reports of charges. In a time when price data are so difficult to get, this report earns an Editor's Pick as a starting point. After all, did you know that stepping on a rusty nail could cost over $1000, or that a colonoscopy could be a $2000 question? (And this was BEFORE 15 years of steady price increases!)

Nevada Hospital Emergency Room Prices - Compare (free)

Compare hospital ER visit prices (2014) in Nevada for common reasons people visit emergency departments. Choose illness and hospital (one hospital at a time). Compare to common charges in the county and NV average. For example, a migraine treated in ER typically cost $2961 in NV (and a headache costs $5090). Consumers should note that physician fees are extra, and NOT shown in the website prices. They also need to add inflation factors for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Prices are disease-specific. Nevada PricePoint through NV Hospital Assn.

New Hampshire Physician Visit, Outpatient Hospital and Dental Prices - Compare (free)

Compare physician office visit prices, dental prices, hospital outpatient tests, PT visits and some surgery prices, as well as some ER prices (2015-2016 plus 5% inflation) in NH. Choose procedure or test (e.g. lab, Radiology such as x-ray, MRI, CT or ultrasound). Select insurance, or uninsured to compare charges with your deductible. Tonsillectomy, colonoscopy and about 20 different surgeries are in Outpatient, which are bundled to include surgeon and anesthesia costs. Price transparency project developed by the New Hampshire Insurance dept.

Parents magazine 2013 List: 10 Best Children's Hospitals

Parents.com magazine March 2013 list of top 10 best children's hospitals puts The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and those at Boston and Cincinnati at the top of the list. Other top 10 include Milwaukee, Aurora Colorado, Pittsburgh UPMC, Texas (Houston), University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Columbus OH, and Lurie Children's (Chicago). Top 5 pediatric hospitals by specialty are ranked for pediatric cancer care (led by Children's of Philadelphia), emergency services, cardiac heart care, Preemie Care, orthopedic and pulmonary care. In addition, 15 runners-up are named. Methodology is vague about dates of its hospital survey, but reportedly relies on hospital self-reports of volume, survival rates, safety practices and more

Pennsylvania - Hospital Quality Ratings & Patient Opinions (PHCQA)

Compare PA hospitals side-by-side for heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, cancer care, stroke, surgical infection prevention, Emergency Room, patient satisfaction (Consumer Assessment) and more. Similar info at the CMS HospitalCompare (dates may vary), but this may be easier to use and more than 3 hospitals can be compared at once; 2014-2015 data. Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA) now merged with the Health Care Improvement Foundation, includes the PA Hospital Association (HAP), the Blue Cross Plans, the PA Medical Society and others

South Dakota Hospital Quality Ratings and Patient Opinions - free

Compare quality of SD hospitals on heart attack, heart failure care, pneumonia, infections and complications in surgery patients, patient satisfaction recommendations, children's asthma (limited data); MRI, Mammogram, CT and other imaging scans; ER care, stroke, hip and knee ratings, some pregnancy & delivery scores. Readmission and survival ratings are also shown for heart and pneumonia. Site by SDAHO (hospital association) generally shows 2012-2013 data. Same data as reported to CMS HospitalCompare (time periods may differ), but here all hospitals are side-by-side. State average, national avg and best 10% scores are shown. Easy to use, can sort to get best scoring hospitals on top

Texas - Guide to Texas HMO Quality 2016 (OPIC)

Lengthy (252 pages) but valuable report showing detailed clinical quality comparisons between HMO health insurance plans for indicators such as asthma, childhood immunizations, cancer screening, heart care, high blood pressure, diabetes care, prenatal care, mental health care, flu shots, ER visit rates, rates of physician board certification, and more. Pub. by TX Office of Public Insurance Council Nov. 2016

Virginia Healthcare Prices (2015)

Find average price ALLOWED in 2015 for 30 common healthcare services, including hospitalizations (maternity), outpatient xray/imaging, CT and MRI tests; colonoscopy, mammogram; inpatient or ambulatory surgery (e.g. hernia, gall bladder, knee replacement, tonsillectomy, kidney stones); and ER or office visits. Shows costs but doesn't identify if it's facility cost only or INCLUDES the surgeon or other physician fees. Each service shows the average allowed amount that you or your insurance plan paid in 2015. More relevant than most pricing information, but confusing because of the doctor fee questions. From Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated Dec. 2016

Wisconsin ER Prices (Emergency Department)

Find typical charge for common visits to emergency departments or hospital-based urgent care. Examples: urinary tract infection (UTI), or nausea and vomiting or teeth problems. Shows median (middle) price for ER (2016-2017) WITHOUT the physician's fee, and how many cases the hospital treated. If the hospital has on-site urgent care, it will show that price also. Example: UW ER cost for UTI was $2171, but much lower at $320 in UW urgent care. Free-standing community Urgent Care clinics are not included in these prices. WI Hospital Association's PricePoint makes comparing hospital prices possible. Compare hospitals downtown vs. those in the suburbs. Lowest price of $1833 for Nausea and Vomiting in west suburbs of Milwaukee compared to $932 downtown.

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