One in Five Americans Visited ER In 2007

The New York Times: One in five Americans visited the emergency room in 2007 whether they were insured or not, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. "Among the uninsured, 7.4 percent made two or more visits to an E.R., but so did 5.1 percent of people with private insurance. Medicaid recipients were the heaviest users of E.R.'s, with 15.3 percent of them making two or more visits during the year. … The uninsured were no more likely to make non-emergency visits to the E.R. than anyone else — about 10 percent of visits were for non-emergencies, whether the patients had private insurance, Medicaid coverage or no insurance." Pinning down who visits the E.R. and why is a complex calculation involving many factors including "socioeconomic level, health status, age, health insurance, access to health care and others" (Rabin, 8/9).

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