Constipation-Related Emergency Department Use, and Associated Office Visits among Children.


eMediNexus    16 May 2018

A new study published in Academic Pediatrics aimed to ascertain the frequency of constipation-related Emergency Department (ED) visits in a large commercially insured population; the frequency of an office visit in the month before and after these visits; demographics associated with these office visits; and the ED-associated payments. Here, data of commercially insured children on presence and timing of clinic visits within 30 days before and after an ED constipation visit and demographic variables were extracted from 2012-2013. The study identified 65,163 children having an ED visit for constipation. It was noted that 45% of children with a constipation-related ED visit had no physician in the 30 days before or after the ED visit. Additionally, increasing age was associated with absence of a physician visit. Meanwhile, the median payment by insurance for an ED constipation visit was $523 and the median out-of-pocket payment was $100. From the findings, it was concluded that one in seven commercially insured children with constipation received ED care for constipation, though many without an outpatient visit in the month before or after. Hence, it was suggested that primary care utilization for this condition should be encouraged.

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