One in 8 ER Visits Mental Disorder, Abuse

WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) — One in eight of the 95 million adults visits to U.S. hospital emergency rooms involved a mental issue, a substance abuse problem, or both, health officials say.

A report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, says of these 12 million ER visits, about two-thirds involved patients with a mental disorder, one-quarter were patients with a substance abuse problem, and the rest involved patients with both a mental disorder and substance abuse.

The federal agency’s reports also says:

– 43 percent of the visits involved depression and other mood disorders, while 26 percent were for anxiety disorders and 23 percent involved alcohol-related problems.

– Nearly 41 percent of mental disorder and/or substance abuse-related visits resulted in hospitalization.

– Medicare was billed for 30 percent of these type of visits; private insured was billed for 26 percent; 21 percent were uninsured; and 20 percent were Medicaid patients.

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