ED visits are rebounding, analysis finds

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Emergency department visits in the U.S. are slowly rebounding after a significant decline this spring, according to an analysis from the Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance. 

The analysis includes self-reported comparative ED volume data for the first six months of 2019 and 2020 from organizations representing 2,240 EDs nationwide. 

In June, ED patient volumes were down 21 percent compared to the same month a year prior. This figure marks some improvement from April and May, when ED volumes were down 48 percent and 42 percent, respectively, year over year. 

Progress varies based on ED type. For example, patient volume at pediatric EDs was down 25 percent in May compared to May 2019. Freestanding EDs are recovering quicker, with June patient volumes down just 16 percent compared to June 2019.

"The increase in emergency department visits back toward levels of a year ago reflect the recovering American health system and confidence in the safety of emergency care,” James Augustine, MD, vice president of the alliance, said in a news release.

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