New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that one out of every five Americans visits a hospital emergency room at least once a year, with California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas accounting for more than a third of all ED visits nationally. The report also reconfirms that most of these patients are adults who are not admitted to the hospital. Of interest to urgent care operators, the national rate for ED visits breaks down to 42 visits per 100 people per year; plug those numbers into your market and you can get a rough idea of how many of those patients could be walking in—and out—your doors instead of sitting in the ED waiting room for a few hours. Most ED visitors had some type of health insurance, with 29% being privately insured, 25% covered by Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program policies and 18% by Medicare; 14% were uninsured. The Affordable Care Act was expected to lower the number of emergency room visits people take, but that has not proven to be the case.
CDC: One Out of Five Visit a U.S. Emergency Room Every Year