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ED VISITS: Comparing utilization in urban and rural areas

Changes in emergency department utilization rates from 2005 to 2016 in urban versus rural areas were studied based on data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.  The data used in the analysis are representative of the nation as a whole.  Here are the changes in visits per 100 population over the time period studied:

  • Rural areas: 36.5 visits/100 population (2005) to 64.5 visits/100 population (2016)
  • Urban areas: 40.2 visits/100 population (2005) to 42.8 visits/100 population (2016)

Reasons for the larger growth in the utilization rate per 100 population in rural areas are discussed.

Source: Greenwood-Ericksen, M.D., and Kocher, K. (2019, April 12). Trends in emergency department use by rural and urban populations in the United States. JAMA Network Open, 2(4). Full text here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2730472  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

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