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AUA: ER Visits for Hematuria Pose Sizeable Economic Burden

Studies show increased costs for patients who undergo imaging; considerable annual ER charges

THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department visits attributed to hematuria pose a considerable economic burden, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 4 to 8 in San Diego.

Khurshid R. Ghani, M.D., from the Henry Ford Vattikuti Urology Institute in Detroit, and colleagues extracted data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) to examine the prevalence, costs, and predictors of imaging utilization for a sample of 718,914 patients presenting to the emergency department with hematuria from 2006 through 2009. The researchers found that 13.2 percent of patients underwent an imaging procedure. The incidence of imaging increased from 6.56 to 9.39 per 100,000 person-years during the study. The median charge for a patient without diagnostic imaging was $1,138, compared to $4,300 with imaging, representing an increase of $75,080,109 in emergency department charges per year associated with imaging.

In a second study, Ghani and colleagues used data from NEDS to examine the incidence of emergency department visits attributed to hematuria from 2006 through 2009. The researchers found that the incidence of hematuria increased from 5.7 to 6.2 per 10,000 person-years during the study period. For patients presenting with a primary diagnosis of hematuria, the total emergency department charges were estimated at $237,960,203 per year.

"Hematuria constitutes a considerable burden on economic resources in the emergency department, and it will require concerted efforts by all stakeholders to reduce both the use of imaging in diagnosing the disorder in that setting, and the costs associated with it," Ghani said in a statement.

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