AHRQ releases 2007 hospital emergency department data
Research Activities, March 2010, No. 355
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released 2007 data for its Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), the largest emergency department (ED) database in the United States. It can be used for many purposes. For example, it can be used to generate statistics on hospital ED visits by patients with various types of coverage as well as the uninsured.
The data can help researchers and others find answers to questions about access to and use of hospital EDs by Americans as a whole and policy-relevant groups like the low-income and uninsured, the quality and effectiveness of care, ED charges, and the impact of policy changes. For example, the data show that in 2007, the uninsured accounted for nearly one-fifth of the 122 million ED visits, Medicaid and Medicare each accounted for about a fifth, and the remaining visits were made by privately insured patients. However, Medicare patients accounted for half of all cases severe enough to require hospital admission.
NEDS is part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-industry partnership for building a standardized, multistate health data system. For more information about NEDS, go to http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/nedsoverview.jsp.