Avoidable Emergency Department Visits

Efforts to reduce the number of healthcare services that provide little to no value to patients continue to be an industry focal point across the Commonwealth of Virginia. While potentially unnecessary care can take many forms, visits to the emergency department for conditions that likely could have been cared for in a lower cost healthcare setting have previously been identified as a major focus area for Virginia through inclusion in the Health Value Dashboard.

VHI's Potentially Avoidable Emergency Department (ED) Visits Dashboard seeks to highlight how these visits are distributed across the Commonwealth. This interactive dashboard allows users to identify regional and county specific rates of potentially avoidable ED visits, the major types of conditions that drive the frequency of these visits, and how they compare across patient insurance type and over time. While interacting with this dashboard, it's important to consider the following about each of the rates that are displayed:

  • ED visits were identified as potentially avoidable based on the primary diagnosis coded on the corresponding paid health insurance claims.
  • Important factors such as the time of day a visit occurred, the patient's access to primary care, and other social determinants of health were not taken into account when identifying which ED visits were potentially avoidable.

A full methodology on how this report was prepared can be found here.

Have questions or comments about the dashboard? Click here.

Updated on: 5/2/2023