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Dizziness Visits Account for About 4 Percent of ER Costs

Mean cost of emergency department dizziness visit estimated at $1,004 in 2011 dollars
WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department costs for patients presenting with dizziness or vertigo are considerable, accounting for about 4 percent of total costs, according to a study published in the July issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.
Ali S. Saber Tehrani, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues used emergency department visit data (1995 to 2009) from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and cost data (2003 to 2008) from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to estimate the national costs associated with emergency department visits for dizziness. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's Clinical Classifications Software (HCUP-CCS) was used to define diagnosis groups, and the average emergency department visit cost-per-diagnosis-group was calculated from MEPS.
The researchers found there were 3.9 million U.S. emergency department visits for dizziness or vertigo in 2011. Of these, 39.9 percent of patients underwent diagnostic imaging by computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or both. In 2011 U.S. dollars, the mean per-emergency-department-dizziness-visit cost was $1,004, with extrapolated national costs of $3.9 billion in 2011. For key HCUP-CCS diagnostic groups presenting with dizziness and vertigo, the fraction of dizziness visits, cost-per-emergency-department-visit, and attributable national costs, respectively, were 25.7 percent, $768, and $757 million for orologic/vestibular; 16.5 percent, $1,489, and $941 million for cardiovascular; and 3.1 percent, $1,059, and $127 million for cerebrovascular. About 12 percent of the total cots for dizziness visits in 2011 were attributed to neuroimaging.
"Total U.S. national costs for patients presenting with dizziness to the emergency department are substantial and are estimated to now exceed $4 billion per year (about 4 percent of total emergency department costs),"the authors write.
Abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acem.12168/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acem.12168/full )
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