There are over 130.4 million visits to the ER every year in the U.S., but only 9.3% of all those ER visits actually end with a hospital admission. In short, that means that people are often visiting the ER for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses.
In fact, around 71% of ER visits made by patients using their employer-sponsored insurance are for issues that don’t require immediate attention in an emergency room setting or are preventable with appropriate outpatient treatment
In a recent study of insurance claims in more than 6.5 million ER visits, researchers discovered that only 29% of patients actually required immediate attention when they came to an emergency room.The same study also revealed that 41% of ER patients could have received the same care in a primary care or urgent care facility. And what’s more, 6% of patients received care for conditions that could have been prevented with proper primary or urgent care treatment.
An analysis of the study revealed that if a mere 10% of these unnecessary visits were handled in an office setting, a net savings of $18.68 in total cost per health plan member per year could have been achieved.