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Emergency Room, Emergency Department, Urgent Care


Primary Listings

Average Cost for People with Hospital ER Visit, 2009, MEPS

Average expenses for people who had one or more visits to the Emergency Room were $1318 in 2009, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Median, or typical, cost was $615. For people ages 45 to 64, the cost was substantially higher on average ($1696). Uninsured people under age 65 averaged $1397 in expenses ($648 median), of which they paid about 37% out of pocket. While average cost for those age 65 and up was $1306, Medicare recipients paid only about 4% to 6% out of pocket. Median charges for children under age 18 were $465 to $469

Emergency Medical Services (MedlinePlus)

Includes multiple reports by the American College of Emergency Physicians, on topics such as ER waiting times, ED costs, family member presence in the emergency department

Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

Should you go to the Emergency Department (ER), or to an urgent care center? Prepared by the National Association for Ambulatory Care (NAFAC)

Pediatric Emergency Care Guidelines (2009)

The American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines for medical and nursing leadership, equipment, medications and protocols for treating children in the Emergency Department. Collaborative effort with other professional associations, Sept. 2009. Free full text

Trauma Programs: Verified Trauma Centers (ACS)

Level I, II and III Trauma Centers are listed here, by state (and Landstuhl Germany), at the American College of Surgeons' website. Trauma Center designation is a voluntary process that hospitals may choose to pursue for Adult and/or Pediatric care. Level I is the highest level. For remote areas, a Level IV designation can be sought; unclear why Level IV hospitals are not listed (approx. 29); Sept. 2009

Truth about ER Visits: 2008 Data from CDC (2010 pdf)

CDC's 2008 Emergency Dept. Summary reveals the median (typical) patient care time in the ER was 2.0 hours. With a median waiting time to see a physician of 35 minutes, the median total time in ER was 2.6 hours. Percent admitted to the hospital: 13.4%. Main reasons for visit: stomach pain, cramps or spasms; chest pain and fever. Shortness fo breath, back pain and headaches also common. Of the 42 million injury-related visits, 23% were for falls - more than twice the rate of motor-vehicle traffic related injuries seen in Emergency Rooms. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

Urgent Care - When Should I Go?

Example of a clinic system's suggestion for using a clinic Urgent Care setting vs. a hospital Emergency Room. Example is from Dean Health System in Madison, WI

Other Helpful Listings

Air Ambulance - Air Medical Base Locations by State

Atlas and Database of Air Medical Services (ADAMS) lists air medical service providers, number of aircraft, and geographic coverage. Supported by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). No utilization data. Updated Sept. 2010

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Injuries, 2009 (pdf)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued its annual report of injuries and deaths from ATVs. Injuries brought 131,900 people to the ER in 2009, with one-fourth of them (32,000 kids) under age 16. Injuries have declined since 2007 overall. Report released December 2010

AMA: 271 Clinical Performance Measures for Physicians, 2012 (pdf)  Editor's Pick

The American Medical Association's Consortium for Performance Improvement has agreed on 271 measures in 42 clinical topics, that are supported by evidenced-based clinical guidelines. Topics include diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart care, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, pneumonia, emergency care, prenatal testing, cancer screening, smoking, prostate cancer care, ear and eye problems, depression, surgical infection prevention, GERD, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, substance abuse, wound care and more. Written for medical professionals, but consumers might learn something about appropriate physician care

Canada - Ontario Hospital Ratings, 2009

myHospitalCare.ca shows hospital performance measures for survival rates (HSMR - hospital standardized mortality ratio), infection rates, emergency wait times, patient satisfaction in ER and acute care, maternity problems at labour and delivery, chronic care, mental health care, and rehab. Data from 2006 to 2009. Developed by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), a voluntary organization representing approximately 155 public hospital corporations. They do not encourage "comparison shopping" by patients, but hope to educate patients about available information and help them become more active participants in their care

Emergency Dept. Report - Florida 2008 data (pdf)

Highly informative statistical summary, including average cost (charges) per hospital ER visit of $2996 (2008 prices-adult) and $1324 pediatric, patient characteristics, insurance status or Self-Pay charges, common symptoms (e.g. $5135 for abdominal pain visit, or $2655 average cost for hypertension visit in the ER; $1878 for asthma visit; $2000 - $3000 for headache including migraine), and more. Pediatric visits in 2008 had average charges of $560 to $3963 depending on acuity. Low acuity adult visits ranged from $983 to $2360 rising with age, and from $4383 to $6932 for high acuity visits. Average charges for non-emergent ER visits were $1278 pediatric and $2907 adult. About half of all Florida ER visits were deemed avoidable. See Tables and Appendixes for average prices for an emergency visit. 61 pages, published by FL Agency for Health Care Admin. April 2010

Florida ER Visit Charges, 2011-2012 (interactive)  Editor's Pick

Find the average cost of an emergency room (ER / ED) visit at each Florida hospital in 2011-2012. North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainsville had the highest average charge in FL at $8342 per ER visit in 2011 through first quarter 2012. Only 6 hospitals had an average charge under $1000. Complexity and seriousness of the visit vary from hospital to hospital. Researchers Tool from FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

Georgia Health Insurance Plan Ratings and Comparisons 2012

Compare quality ratings and member satisfaction scores for Medicaid plans Amerigroup, PeachState and WellCare of GA. Covers access to care, dental visits, childhood immunizations and obesity, ER visits, lead screening, well child visits, provider satisfaction and member opinions for 2008 through 2010. View one plan at a time. Released October 2011 by Georgia Dept. of Community Health at dch.georgia.gov

Heart, Cardiac, Stroke Hospitalizations - Average Cost, Survival Rate, Length of Stay (pdf)

AHRQ Statistical Brief #26: Hospital Stays for Circulatory Diseases, 2004 identifies the average cost (estimated using cost-to-charge ratios) for congestive heart failure, nonspecific chest pain, AMI- heart attack, cardiac dysrhythmias, stroke, hypertension with complications, TIA (mini-stroke), atherosclerosis, phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary heart disease, heart valve disorders, aortic aneurysms, cardiomyopathy, vericose veins and other circulatory disease hospitalizations. Average cost was $10,800 in 2004, with a 96.7% in-hospital survival rate. Most patients (61%) came through the emergency department. National statistics published Feb. 2007

How Much Does an Office Visit cost compared to an ER visit?

An average physician office visit in 2008 cost $199, compared to $922 for an Emergency Room visit (median was $89 for doctor's visit, vs. $422 for ER). Top 5 conditions shown for each ambulatory care visit type. Consumers should expect considerably higher prices since 2008. MEPS data published in Statistical Brief #318, March 2011

Louisiana Hospital Ratings and Prices - LA Hospital Inform

Search by Parish. Must click on View Reports on the left side of page to see LA hospital-specific selected inpatient charges (e.g. child birth, C-section, hip or knee surgery, gall bladder removal, appendectomy, heart problems, stent, cardiac cath, stomach problems, stroke, kidney failure, COPD, pneumonia, more); outpatient Medicare prices include ER visits, heart tests such as cardiac cath, EKG, stress test, echo; CT scan, MRI, x-ray and ultrasound, GI endoscopy, mammography, more. Quality scores similar to those at HospitalCompare, but may be less current. Louisiana Hospital Inform is sponsored by the Louisiana Hospital Association; Prices from 2009 (outpatient and inpatient)

Massachusetts Hospital Staffing Plans 2009

Massachusetts Hospital Association website presents each hospital's unit-by-unit staffing plans for 2009, by shift, and actual staffing for 2008 (and prior years). First in the country to voluntarily post nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. May be difficult for consumers to interpret to compare MA hospital performance, especially with all the different types of inpatient units. However, the Emergency Room information also includes specialties such as Chest Pain Center and Stroke Center, and volume of ER visits. Massachusetts Patients First

Michigan Hospital Prices, Patient Opinion and Quality Ratings

Michigan Hospital Association's Keystone Center web site shows Medicare charges, and how much Medicare pays after they apply federal discounts (for an idea of average cost) and volumes for the top 50 most common inpatient and 50 outpatient services at nonprofit hospitals. Includes services like clinic visit (without the doctor's charge), ER visit, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound. Inpatient conditions like stroke, hip, knee or ankle surgery, GI problems, psych admission, heart problems also show average Medicare charges. Compare quality of Emergency transfers from critical access hospitals in rural areas. Patient Satisfaction (HCAHPS) and Quality ratings like those at CMS hospital compare are listed for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infection prevention, except the dates may be older here and no side-by-side comparisons. Prices from 2010-2011, one hospital at a time

Minnesota: How Much Does It Cost? (word doc)  Editor's Pick

Short document from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, 2005, displays average charges (from 2003) for nearly 50 common medical treatments (including endoscopy, ear tubes, hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, having a baby, and some prescription drugs), using Minnesota data. An interesting comparison is the cost for the same problem (e.g. sore throat or ear ache), depending on whether the patient seeks office care, urgent care or ER care. This report adds together charges from both the hospital and the physician - not commonly seen in reports of charges. In a time when price data are so difficult to get, this report earns an Editor's Pick as a starting point. After all, did you know that stepping on a rusty nail could cost over $1000, or that a colonoscopy could be a $2000 question? (And this was BEFORE 7 years of steady price increases!)

Nevada Hospital Emergency Room Prices - Compare (free)

Compare hospital ER visit prices (2011) in Nevada for common reasons people visit emergency departments. Choose illness and hospital (one hospital at a time). Compare to common charges in the county and NV average. For example, a migraine treated in ER typically cost $2200 in NV (and a headache costs $4162). Consumers should note that physician fees are extra, and NOT shown in the website prices. They may also need to add inflation factor for 2012. Prices are disease-specific. Nevada PricePoint through NV Hospital Assn.

New Hampshire Costs - Outpatient Surgery, Tests and Maternity

Shows typical prices for many outpatient procedures, plus inpatient maternity care. NH Health Cost shows expected average cost for over 30 common tests and ambulatory surgeries including colonoscopy, mammogram, ER visit; chest x-ray or x-ray for spine, shoulder, knee, ankle, or foot; bone density scan, CT scan (3 types), MRI for back, brain, knee, or pelvis; myocardial imaging; arthrocentesis, arthroscopy of knee, breast biopsy, destruction of lesion, outpatient gall bladder surgery, hernia repair, kidney stone removal, tonsillectomy, breast ultrasound, and other maternity ultrasound tests, births. Site uses 2010-2011 costs increased for price inflation, common language instead of requiring codes, and includes physician fees. Must supply zip code and insurance information (or no insurance). Report by The NH Department of Insurance updated 2012

New Hampshire Outpatient Hospital Prices - Compare (free)

Compare hospital outpatient tests, visits and some surgery prices, as well as some ER prices (2010-2011) in NH. Choose procedure or test (e.g. lab, MRI, or CT), and hospital (one hospital at a time). Compare to common charges in the county and NH average. To find tonsillectomy, look under Digestive. Consumers should note that physician fees are extra, and NOT shown in the website prices. They may also need to add inflation factor for 2012. New Hampshire PricePoint through NH Hospital Assn.

Ohio 2010 Hospital Prices - Inpatient, Outpatient, OR, ER

Selected 2010 prices are provided by each hospital through the OHA - Ohio Hospital Association. Hospital charges shown for daily room rate, labor and delivery (obstetrics), Emergency Department (ER) prices, Operating Room surgery charges in 30-minute blocks, Mammogram, X-ray, CT, MRI, Lab tests such as CBC, Lipid Profile, Urinalysis, Troponin, PTT, Toxicology screen, blood glucose; Physical Therapy, OT, EKG test, more. Price list varies by hospital. Caution: Physician professional fees may not be included - even in ER - so read the fine print

Parents magazine 2009 List: 10 Best Children's Hospitals

Parents.com magazine Feb. 2009 list of top 10 best children's hospitals puts The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and those at Boston and Milwaukee, WI at the top of the list. Other top 10 include Cincinnati, St. Louis, Columbus OH, Texas (Houston), Atlanta, Rainbow Babies, and Children's Hospital in Denver. Top 5 pediatric hospitals by specialty are ranked for pediatric cancer care (led by St. Jude in Memphis), emergency services, cardiac heart care, neonatal, orthopedic and pulmonary care. In addition, 20 runners-up are named. Methodology is vague about dates of its hospital survey, but reportedly relies on hospital self-reports of volume, survival rates, safety practices and more

Press Ganey - Patient Satisfaction in ER - Emergency Dept.

Press Ganey's 2010 Emergency Department Pulse Report examines trends in overall patient satisfaction in the Emergency Rooms of 1900 hospitals (1.5 million patients) during 2009. Longer waiting times without staying informed about delays, uncomfortable waiting rooms, and second shift (3 to 11 pm) meant lower satisfaction levels. Total time in ER averaged just over 4 hours, with Iowa average under 3 hours. At the other end of the spectrum was Utah where total time in ED was more than 8 hours on average

South Dakota Hospital Quality Ratings and Patient Opinions - free

Compare quality of SD hospitals on heart attack, heart failure care, pneumonia, infections and complications in surgery patients, patient satisfaction recommendations, children's asthma (limited data); MRI, Mammogram, CT and other imaging scans; ER care, stroke, hip and knee ratings, some pregnancy & delivery scores. Readmission and survival ratings are also shown for heart and pneumonia. Site by SDAHO (hospital association) generally shows 2012-2013 data. Same data as reported to CMS HospitalCompare (time periods may differ), but here all hospitals are side-by-side. State average, national avg and best 10% scores are shown. Easy to use, can sort to get best scoring hospitals on top

Texas - Guide to Texas HMO Quality 2011 (OPIC)

Lengthy (223 pages) but valuable report showing detailed clinical quality comparisons between HMO health insurance plans for indicators such as asthma, childhood immunizations, cancer screening, heart care, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes care, prenatal care, mental health care, flu shots, ER visit rates, rates of physician board certification, and more. Pub. by TX Office of Public Insurance Council Jan. 2012

Virginia Healthcare Prices (2012)  Editor's Pick

Find average price PAID for 30 common healthcare services, including hospitalizations (maternity), outpatient xray/imaging, CT and MRI tests; colonoscopy, mammogram; inpatient or ambulatory surgery (e.g. hernia, gall bladder, knee replacement, tonsillectomy, kidney stones); and ER or office visits. Shows facility cost PLUS the surgeon or other physician fees. Each service shows the average allowed amount that you or your insurance plan paid in 2012. More comprehensive than most pricing information. From Virginia Health Information (VHI), updated Dec. 2013

Wisconsin ER Prices (Emergency Department)

Find average charge for common visits to emergency departments or hospital-based urgent care. Examples: chest pain, asthma or acute upper respiratory infection, wrist sprain. Shows last year's average price for ER (2011-2012) WITHOUT the physician's fee, and how many cases the hospital treated. If the hospital has on-site urgent care, it will show that price also. Free-standing community Urgent Care clinics are not included in these prices. One hospital at a time, from the WI Hospital Association's PricePoint

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