New Ambulatory Care Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued a new report, “Ambulatory Medical Care Utilization Estimates for 2005,” which contains information on patient visits to emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and physician offices.

Highlights of the report:

There were over 1.2 billion patient visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient clinics, and emergency rooms in 2005. Over the past decade, rates of visits per population increased for all types of health care settings studied.

In the emergency department, the visit rate for patients with no insurance was about twice that of those with private insurance.

Conversely, patient visits to physician offices were higher for individuals with private health insurance compared with uninsured persons.

Over 29 percent of all ambulatory care visits were for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and one in four were for preventive care, including check-ups, prenatal care, and post-surgical care.

There were 2.4 billion medications prescribed or administered at these visits.

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