Emergency department spending jumped 85% over a 7-year period ending in 2015, according to new research by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), even though ED use remained relatively stable. The reason for the increase in spending, according to the report, is that hospitals coded and charged more for high-severity cases during that timeframe. Drawing on charges associated with more than 70 million ED bills, HCCI found that visits billed to CPT codes 99285 and 99284 increased >100% during the study period. Conversely, visits were charged to lower-severity codes (which are also lower cost codes) less frequently.
New Data Reveal ED Spending Rose 85% Between 2009 and 2015