Current Research in Emergency Medicine
[ ISSN : 2832-5699 ]
Hospital Emergency Department (ED) Utilization in 2020 Was Well Below Pre-COVID (2019) Levels: Will This Trend Continue and What Are The Long-Term Implications for Hospitals and ED Physicians?
1University of Southern California, Blue Cross of California Chair in Healthcare Finance and Professor and Director, Center for Health Financing, Policy, and Management at the Price School
2University of Southern California, independent health consultant and Associate Researcher at the USC Price School Center for Health Financing, Policy, and Management.
3University of Southern California, Chief Medical Officer at Collective Medical and a practicing Infectious Disease physician and technologist.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital ED utilization for the entire year 2020 are analyzed. The data show that hospital utilization fell dramatically in the second quarter of 2020 and remained well below pre-COVID levels for the remainder of the year. In the short run, the apparent recovery from the sudden initial decline in ED visit volume earlier in the pandemic has stalled and reversed. The substantial, sustained reduction in ED utilization from pre-COVID levels raises questions for health care managers and researchers regarding long-term patient behavior.