Growth in Rural Emergency Department Visits Outpace Urban Increases

From Medical Research:

Overall, estimated rural emergency department visit increased between 2005 to 2016 from 16.7 million to 28.4 million as compared to urban visit estimate increase from 98.6 million to 117.2 million. From these emergency department visit estimates, we calculated annual ED visit rates for both rural and urban populations using the US Census Bureau population estimates. We found a 50% increase in rural ED visit rates, outpacing urban ED visit rates which experienced a small increase. By 2016, almost one-fifth of all ED visits occurred in the rural setting. For rural visit rates, increases were driven by Medicaid beneficiaries, patients without insurance, those aged 18 to 64 years old, and non-Hispanic whites. Finally, a larger proportion of rural EDs are now categorized as safety-net status. 

What’s happening with high-acuity cases in rural hospitals

From Becker’s:

No matter where they live – in rural or urban areas – people have the same health issues, including high-acuity conditions. But many factors create unique challenges for patients with high-acuity cases in rural communities.