Variation in Physician Office Visit Rates by Patient Characteristics and State, 2012

September 11, 2015

An NCHS report examines the rate of physician office visits by patient age, sex, and state. Visits by adults with private insurance as their expected source of payment were also examined.

Estimates are based on the 2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a nationally representative survey of physician office visits. State estimates for the 34 most populous states are available for the first time. State refers to the location of the physician office visit.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012, there were an estimated 301 physician office visits per 100 persons. The visit rate among females exceeded the rate for males.
  • The rate for adults aged 65 and over was more than twice the rate for adults aged 18–64 and children under age 18 years.
  • Among the 34 most populous states, Missouri had the lowest rate of physician office visits for both adult age groups (18–64 and 65 and over), and Connecticut had the highest rate.
  • The percentage of visits made by adults aged 18–64 with private insurance as the expected source of payment varied across the 34 most populous states, ranging from 53% in New York and Arkansas to 79% in Maryland.

 


Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Ischemic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack: United States, 2001–2011

March 31, 2015

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) cause similar symptoms, but the blockage of blood flow to the brain is temporary. However, about one-third of people who have a TIA will have a stroke within 1 year.

Emergency departments play a critical role in the diagnosis and management of ischemic stroke and TIA. The evaluation of these conditions in the emergency department is similar, so they are combined for this analysis.

A new NCHS report presents recent trends in visits to emergency departments for ischemic stroke or TIA.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • From 2001 through 2011, the rate of emergency department visits for ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) decreased 35% for patients aged 18 and over and 51% for patients aged 55–74.
  • From 2004 through 2011, the percentage of emergency department visits for ischemic stroke or TIA in which the patient arrived by ambulance decreased 41% for patients under 75.
  • The percentage of emergency department visits for ischemic stroke or TIA in which a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) test was ordered or provided increased 39% from 2001 through 2011.
  • The percentage of emergency department visits for ischemic stroke or TIA that resulted in admission or transfer to a hospital increased 10% from 2001 through 2011.

 

 

 


Emergency Department Visits and Proximity to Patients’ Residences, 2009–2010

March 19, 2015

The number of emergency department (ED) visits rose 44% from 1991 through 2010, even as the number of hospital EDs declined 10% over the same period.

As a result, EDs have increasingly experienced overcrowding and longer waiting times. Using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a new NCHS report provides how often patients go to the ED closest to their home, and how differences in geography, patient demographics, and hospital characteristics are associated with ED selection patterns.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2009–2010, visits to emergency departments (EDs) occurred an average 6.8 miles from the patient’s residence, while the nearest ED was 3.9 miles from the home.
  • Less than one-half of all ED visits (43.8%) occurred at the ED closest to where the patient lived.
  • Visits within metropolitan statistical areas were less likely (37.2%) to take place at the closest ED compared with visits outside of metropolitan statistical areas (70.1%).
  • Within metropolitan statistical areas, visits that did not take place at the closest ED occurred more frequently among younger patients, at larger hospitals, and in EDs with longer waiting times, compared with visits to the closest ED.

A brief look at heart disease

February 25, 2009

As a farewell to “American Heart Month,” here’s a brief synopsis of why the heart and its health affects so many of us:

  • Heart disease is the nation’s leading cause of death, responsible for 629,191 deaths in 2006 (National Vital Statistics System, 2006).
  • Heart disease is the nation’s leading diagnosis for hospitalization, at 4.2 million (National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2006).
  • Over 24 million visits to physician offices in 2006 resulted in a diagnoses of heart disease (National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2006).
  • About 11% of U.S. adults have ever been told by a doctor or other health professional they had heart disease (National Health Interview Survey, 2007).
  • About one in six Americans aged 20 years and over has elevated blood pressure and one in four has hypertension (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2004).

Anti-depressant Use

August 10, 2007

CNN recently ran a story that has gained some attention. It is entitled CDC: Antidepressants most prescribed drugs in U.S.

[…]According to a government study, antidepressants have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. They’re prescribed more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or headaches. CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen discusses the CDC study on antidepressants »

In its study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in visits to doctors and hospitals in 2005. Of those, 118 million were for antidepressants.

High blood pressure drugs were the next most-common with 113 million prescriptions.

The use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs — those that affect brain chemistry — has skyrocketed over the last decade.

Adult use of antidepressants almost tripled between the periods 1988-1994 and 1999-2000.

Between 1995 and 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the use of these drugs rose 48 percent, the CDC reported.

The data for this report comes from our flagship publication Health, United States and in the 2006 edition is found at Table 92. This publication is an invaluable resource for anyone writing about health issues. If you are just interested in the drug use data click here.


Ambulatory Care Visits

July 19, 2007

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.

Available for download.


New Emergency Department Report

June 29, 2007

Released today. Some of the highlights

During 2005, an estimated 115.3 million visits were made to hospital EDs, about 39.6 visits per 100 persons. This represents on average roughly 30,000 visits per ED in 2005, a 31 percent increase over 1995 (23,000). Visit rates have shown an increasing trend since 1995 for persons 22–49 years of age, 50–64 years of age, and 65 years of age and over. In 2005, about 0.5 million (0.4 percent) of visits were made by homeless individuals. Nearly 18 million patients arrived by ambulance (15.5 percent). At 1.9 percent of visits, the patient had been discharged from the hospital within the previous 7 days. Abdominal pain, chest pain, fever, and cough were the leading patient complaints, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all visits. Abdominal pain was the leading illness-related diagnosis at ED visits. There were an estimated 41.9 million injury-related visits or 14.4 visits per 100 persons.


New Ambulatory Care Report

June 29, 2007

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.


Anti-depressant use by minors

April 17, 2007

Information on the number of prescriptions written to  minors for anti-depressants can be found in Health, United States 2006 at Table 92. (located on page 331 of a very large .pdf file).

Briefly in the period 1995-96 there were 1.9 prescriptions written for anti-depressants for every 100 persons aged 18 and under. By 2003-04 that number was 8.0.  While both boys and girls received anti-depressants at the same rate (1.9) in 1995-96, in the 2003-04 period boys received 9.1 prescriptions per 100 persons and girls received 6.8.

Unfortunately, we did not collect this data before 1995.