Candrilli S, Davis KL, Yen L. Characteristics of diverticulitis-related emergency department visits in the United States. Poster presented at the 2012 ISPOR 15th Annual European Congress; November 9, 2012. Berlin, Germany. [abstract] Value Health. 2012 Nov; 15(7):A328.

OBJECTIVES: Diverticulitis (DV) exerts a significant burden on healthcare systems and payers. Although DV is often first diagnosed as an emergent condition in emergency department (ED) settings, few details on characteristics of DV-related encounters in ED settings exist. This study characterizes DV-related ED visits in the US in 2007.

METHODS: Data were from the 2007 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), a nationally representative sample of ED visits in the US. For each visit in the NEDS, clinical and resource use information is recorded, including patient demographics, diagnoses and procedures performed, payer information, and total charges. Patients with a primary DV diagnosis (ICD-9-CM 562.11 or 562.13) were identified. Patient-, stay-, and facility-specific characteristics were documented for each DV-related ED visit, and compared to all ED visits in the US during the same period. Sampling weights in the NEDS allow for generation of nationally representative estimates.

RESULTS: Of 122.3 million ED visits in the US in 2007, 284,853 involved a primary DV diagnosis. Among these visits, mean patient age was 58.3 years, ~20 years older than non–DV-related patients (37.8 years; P<0.0001); 55.4% were for female patients. DV-related visits most often occurred in the southern US (38.1%), private health insurance was the most frequent payer for these visits (45.6%), and >50% were admitted to an inpatient facility from the ED (56.7%). The mean charge per DV-related ED visit (2011 US dollars) was $3,211, nearly double than for non-DV-related visits ($1,677; P<0.0001). Total charges across all DV-related ED visits were ~$1 billion.

CONCLUSIONS: DV requires careful clinical management, across a variety of healthcare settings. This study presents novel information on DV-related ED visits in the US. Adding to the body of knowledge regarding DV-related care may help providers and decision makers optimize allocation of resources to treat all DV patients.

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