Older adults skip ED for cost concerns: study

Older adults are avoiding the emergency department due to concerns about service costs, a recent study found. 

Researchers from the Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan surveyed 2,074 U.S. adults aged 50 to 80 in June 2020 regarding their emergency department usage in the two years preceding. 

Key findings from the study:

  • Eighty percent of respondents were concerned about costs of an emergency department visit.

  • Eighteen percent were not confident they could afford an emergency department visit.

  • Twenty-two percent of those who may have needed emergency department care in the past two years avoided care.

  • Predictors of cost-related emergency department avoidance included poor to fair mental health, an age between 50 and 54, no insurance and an annual household income under $30,000. 

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