By the Numbers: Rural Emergency Department Usage

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported recently that Emergency Department (ED) usage was 39 percent higher for Americans living in rural areas compared to those living in urban areas (515 visits versus 372 visits per 1,000 adults). Well over half of these vists are typically non-emergent. It points to the need for primary care expansion in rural America.  In the mean time, hospital ED's in rural and frontier areas of our country are treasured assets that need protection.