Home Emergency Medicine Most Older Adults Concerned About Emergency Department Costs

Most Older Adults Concerned About Emergency Department Costs

Predictors of emergency department avoidance include lower income, being uninsured, poor or fair mental/physical health, and younger age

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Eight in 10 older U.S. adults are concerned about the costs of an emergency department visit, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Rachel E. Solnick, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used survey data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 50 to 80 years (2,074 adults) to examine predictors of older Americans’ concerns about emergency department visit costs.

The researchers found that 80 percent were concerned (45 percent very and 35 percent somewhat) about costs of an emergency department visit and 18 percent were not confident in their ability to afford an emergency department visit. In the previous two years, 7 percent of all participants had avoided emergency department care because of cost concerns, including 22 percent of those who may have needed emergency care. Being aged 50 to 54 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.57), being uninsured (aOR, 2.93), having poor or fair mental health (aOR, 2.82), and having an annual household income <$30,000 (aOR, 2.30) were predictors of cost-related emergency department avoidance.

“These findings highlight the importance of reducing the number of uninsured individuals and the need for insurers to clearly communicate coverage for emergency services,” Solnick said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

Copyright © 2022 HealthDay. All rights reserved.