Nearly Half of All US Medical Care is Delivered by Emergency Departments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP Associate Professor  Director of Population Health Department of Emergency Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor Co-Director of the Program in Health Disparities and Population Health Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University of Maryland School of Medicine Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care University of Maryland Medical Center

Dr. Marcozzi

David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP
Associate Professor
Director of Population Health
Department of Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor
Co-Director of the Program in Health Disparities and Population Health
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care
University of Maryland Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered by emergency departments has grown. The study highlights what many experts argue is a major flaw in American health care: the use of emergency care in non-urgent cases, where clinics and doctor’s offices would be more appropriate.

“I was shocked by this result. This really helps us understand health care in this country. This research underscores the fact that emergency departments are critical to our nation’s healthcare delivery system, particularly for Americans who have no access to care.” said David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP, an associate professor in the UMSOM Department of Emergency Medicine, and co-director of the UMSOM Program in Health Disparities and Population Health. “Patients seek care delivered in emergency departments for many reasons, and we need to face this fact this is a significant segment of healthcare and actually it may be delivering the type of care that individuals want and need—24/7, 365 days.”  Although he now focuses on population health and hospital throughput, Dr. Marcozzi is an emergency room doctor himself, and works one or two days a week in the University of Maryland Medical Center emergency department, treating patients.

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Morbidity and Financial Costs of Atrial Fibrillation High and Likely to Grow

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sandra L. Jackson, PhD National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chamblee GA

Dr. Sandra  Jackson

Sandra L. Jackson, PhD
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Chamblee GA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: People who have atrial fibrillation are at increased risk for having a heart attack or stroke. While we know that the percentage of the population with atrial fibrillation is increasing in the US, there is no national surveillance system to track the burden of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to atrial fibrillation across all ages and health insurance provider types. This study combined data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and the National Vital Statistics System to provide national estimates for atrial fibrillation-related healthcare service use and deaths from 2006-2014.

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Interventions To Decrease Frequent ED Use May Be Effective But Best Strategies Not Clear

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jessica Moe MD, MA, PGY5 FRCPC
Emergency Medicine, University of Alberta
MSc (Candidate) Clinical Epidemiology

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Frequent visitors are common in many urban emergency departments (ED). They represent high resource-utilizing patients; additionally, existing literature demonstrates that they experience higher mortality and adverse health outcomes than non-frequent ED users. Interventions targeting frequent ED users therefore may potentially prevent adverse outcomes in this high risk patient group. The purpose of this study was to provide an up-to-date review of the existing literature on the effectiveness of interventions for adult frequent ED users.

This systematic review summarizes evidence from 31 interventional studies. The majority evaluated case management and care plans; a smaller number of studies examined diversion strategies, printout case notes, and social work visits. Overall, the studies were considered to have moderate to high risk of bias; however, 84% of before-after studies found that ED visits significantly decreased after the intervention. Additionally, studies examining interventions for homelessness consistently found that interventions improved stable housing. Overall, effects on hospital admissions and outpatient visits were unclear.

In summary, the available evidence is encouraging and suggests interventions targeted towards frequent ED users may be effective in decreasing ED visit frequency and improving housing stability.

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