60 Percent Increase in ED visits for Sports Injuries Among Youths

Monday, October 17th, 2011
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

There’s been a 60 percent increase in ED visits for sports injuries over the last 10 years. Experts attribute the increase to the public’s growing awareness of the risks of suspected traumatic brain injuries (TBI), CDC officials said. Research indicates that young athletes with a TBI experience longer recovery times and are at greater risk of serious outcomes than adults. The injuries, the majority of which occurred from bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer, may appear mild but lead to significant lifelong impairment.

But the prevalence of avoidable emergency department use still continues, an issue we tackle in our second annual survey, Reducing Avoidable ER Visits in 2011. What are you doing to staunch the flow and expense of avoidable emergency department use? We are seeking input on organizations’ efforts in this area, and if you respond by October 31 you will receive a free executive summary of the results.

In other news, one third of people 65 years and older are undergoing surgeries in their last year of life, with 1 in 10 having surgery in their last week of life. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Research, where the study was conducted, say the surgeries vary substantially with age and region, and express uncertainty as to the necessity of many of the surgeries. More details in this issue.

ACO regulations have entered the final stage of the review process. The CMS sent the final Medicare Shared Savings Program regulations to the Office of Management and Budget for review on October 5th , one of the last steps in the approval process. No word yet on when the final rule will be published; we will keep you posted.

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