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US spends $8.3B on unnecessary ED visits for chronic diseases

A Premier study found that about 30% of emergency department visits among patients with chronic illnesses probably could have been prevented and handled in a less costly outpatient setting, and those unneeded ED visits amounted to $8.3 billion in additional spending. The findings, based on an analysis of 24 million ED visits at 747 hospitals, showed 60% of those visits involved asthma, diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure or behavioral health conditions.

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