Why Rural EDs Are Struggling to Survive

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , June 29, 2011


"Emergency departments are absolutely an essential service for the community," Schneider says. "We think it is really a crisis for rural America."

Other key findings:

 

  • In 2008, 6.4 percent of all ED visits occurred in rural areas
  • About 51% of EDs in rural areas are in critical access hospitals
  • 56.2% of rural ED patients lived in ZIP Codes with the lowest median household income compared to 30.1% of non-rural ED patients
  • About 44% of adult visits to rural EDs were either paid by Medicaid (28%) or uncompensated/billed to uninsured patients (almost 16.5%)
  • Sprains and strains, contusions, abdominal pain, headache, and back problems were the most frequently treated conditions among adults in rural EDs

See Also:
The New ED: Keep Patients Out (but Happy)
ACEP Chief Rails Against ED Diversions, Scheduling
The Coordinated ED
Medicare Reimbursement Cut Further Squeezes Emergency Department Economics


Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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