Emergency eepartment visit rates by selected characteristics: United States, 2020
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Emergency eepartment visit rates by selected characteristics: United States, 2020

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      In 2020, an estimated 131 million emergency department (ED) visits occurred in the United States, with 19.0% of adults reporting a visit and 4.7% of children reporting two or more visits in the past 12 months (1–3). In that time, over 20 million cases of COVID-19 caused a disruption in access to and use of care (4). This report presents characteristics of ED visits, including those with mentions of COVID-19, by age group, sex, race and ethnicity, and primary expected source of payment, using data from the 2020 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS).

      Key findings

      Data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

      ● The overall emergency department (ED) visit rate was 40 visits per 100 people in 2020.

      ● The ED visit rate was highest for infants under age 1 year (68 visits per 100 infants), followed by adults aged 75 and over (63 per 100 people).

      ● The ED visit rate for non-Hispanic Black or African- American people (70 visits per 100 people) was highest compared with other racial and ethnic groups.

      ● The ED visit rate for patients with private insurance was lowest, while the rate for patients with Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, or other state-based programs was highest compared with all other primary expected sources of payment.

      ● Of all ED visits in 2020, 6.7% had a mention of COVID-19.

      Suggested citation: Cairns C, Ashman JJ, King JM. Emergency department visit rates by selected characteristics: United States, 2020. NCHS Data Brief, no 452. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/ cdc:121837.


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