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Health Leaders: ER Spending Rise Driven by high-severity cases

By: John Commins 

A review of emergency department claims for employer-sponsored plans from 2009 through 2016 found that the average prices for higher severity billing codes rose faster than lower severity codes.

Emergency department spending per employer-sponsored plan enrollee increased 99% from 2009 to 2016, even as overall ED use for that cohort flat-lined, the Health Care Cost Institute reports.

HCCI examined trends in spending, price and utilization for five Current Procedural Terminology codes used to record the complexity and severity of ED visits over the seven-year span.