7 Chronic Conditions with the Most Emergency Visits

Chronic diseases are a behemoth when it comes to healthcare needs and costs in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases account for 75% of the healthcare spending in the United States each year.

Chronic diseases are a behemoth when it comes to healthcare needs and costs in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases account for 75% of the healthcare spending in the United States each year.

Nearly half of all Americans live with some type of chronic illness, the CDC said, and 7 of 10 US deaths occur as a result of a chronic condition. Heart disease and stroke alone account for 30% of US deaths.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has spent much of its Affordable Care Act money trying to improve treatment of people with chronic conditions and limit the instances of those people going to emergency departments for preventable chronic condition-related health problems.

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services annually tracks data related to chronic conditions and makes those data publicly available. Among the data are emergency department utilization rates for Medicare patients with chronic conditions. Those data serve as a window into which chronic diseases are driving emergency department usage.

The Medicare database covers 17 chronic conditions. What follows is a list of the 7 conditions with the highest rates of emergency department visits. CMS notes the data include patients with chronic conditions who visited emergency departments with multiple symptoms (not just symptoms from the chronic condition), as well as people who visited the emergency department and then were sent home. Spending figures below are standardized, a measure Medicare uses to compare spending across geographic regions.

Rate of ED visits: 1,529.5 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 25.2%

Annual per capita spending: $25,301

Rate of ED visits: 1608.8 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 25%

Annual per capita spending: $25,507

Rate of ED visits: 1,616.5 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 23.1%

Annual per capita spending: $19,854

Rate of ED visits: 1,752.6 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 24.5%

Annual per capita spending: $24,089

Rate of ED visits: 1,903.5 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 24.2%

Annual per capita spending: $21,001

Rate of ED visits: 1,905.5 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 23.1%

Annual per capita spending: $28,746

Rate of ED visits: 2080.8 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Readmission rate: 26.4%

Annual per capita spending: $23,965