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UCSF study finds big jump in ER visits
San Francisco Chronicle

Emergency room visits to U.S. hospitals increased more than 23 percent from 1997 to 2007 – double what researchers expected the rise would be based on population growth, according to a UCSF study to be released Wednesday.

Total annual visits to the country’s emergency departments rose from 94.9 million in 1997 to an estimated 116.8 million over the next decade, the study found. Visit rates for adults on Medicaid accounted for the largest jump, while rates for adults with private insurance and those on Medicare showed no significant change.