Insured Patients Flock to Freestanding EDs While Hospital EDs Feel the Financial Pressure

From Emergency Medicine News (hat tip: Dr. Menadue):

Freestanding emergency departments are growing rapidly across the United States, increasing from 222 in 2009 to 360 across 30 states as of March 2015, according to a recently published study. (Ann Emerg Med 2015;66[4]:S3.) The researchers, using a ZIP code analysis, found that these EDs in the three states with the highest concentrations of freestanding EDs — Texas, Colorado, and Ohio — were located in areas with population growth, higher incomes, a higher proportion of the population with private insurance, a lower proportion of the population with Medicaid, and more hospital EDs. This also raises questions of access to care and how it will affect hospital EDs, which increasingly are losing paying patients to these facilities.

Meanwhile, at least 45 hospitals in less populated parts of the United States shut their doors between 2010 and 2016, a quarter of those in Texas, according to the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals.

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