HealthDay News — Eight in 10 older US adults are concerned about the costs of an emergency department visit, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Rachel E. Solnick, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used survey data from a nationally representative sample of US adults aged 50 to 80 years (2074 adults) to examine predictors of older Americans’ concerns about emergency department visit costs.

The researchers found that 80% were concerned (45% very and 35% somewhat) about costs of an emergency department visit and 18% were not confident in their ability to afford an emergency department visit. In the previous 2 years, 7% of all participants had avoided emergency department care because of cost concerns, including 22% 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 less than $30,000 (aOR, 2.30) were predictors of cost-related emergency department avoidance.

Continue Reading

“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