From the http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb116.pdf Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
Emergency departments (EDs) are an important consideration in today’s health policy dialogue. Previous studies note that annual ED visits have increased over time, while reimbursement for emergency care by insurers has steadily decreased. These challenges are magnified in rural areas, which typically have fewer health care resources, including medical staff, facilities, adequate financing, and modern technologies. More information is needed on the patient and hospital attributes of rural ED visits to further improve the emergency and overall care of rural patients.
This Statistical Brief presents data on the use of EDs in rural areas from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). The information focuses on patient and hospital characteristics of rural and non-rural emergency department visits in the United States in 2008. Variations in the most frequently listed conditions for adults and children are also discussed.