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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Autism and Emergency Rooms

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss health care issues and state Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Shaun Heasley writes at Disability Scoop:
Adults with autism are increasingly showing up in emergency rooms, with a new study finding that such visits more than doubled over a five-year period.
In an analysis of emergency room visits across the country, researchers found that individuals with autism ages 22 to 64 accounted for 2,549 per 100,000 admissions in 2006. That figure skyrocketed to 6,087 per 100,000 admissions by 2011.
The findings, published in the April issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, are based on data collected through the federal government’s Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.
RRFrom the article,  "Emergency Department Use Among Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" by  Rini Vohra, Suresh Madhavan, and Usha Sambamoorthi:
There were two critical findings in the descriptive analyses: (1) Majority (80 %) of adults with ASD were covered by a public health insurance as compared to one-quarter (25 %) adults without ASD. This finding reflects that public payers still account for covering ED and inpatient services among majority of adults with mental health issues such as ASD, consistent with previous studies (Ruble et al. 2005; Semansky et al. 2011); and (2) Another intriguing observation in the study was the difference in rates of inpatient admissions after an ED use among adults with and without ASD. Around one-third of ED visits among adults with ASD led to an inpatient admission as compared to onetenth of adults without ASD. This indicates that higher ED use among adults with ASD may also lead to greater hospitalization rates which is associated with high hospitalization costs (Lokhandwala et al. 2012).

Lokhandwala, T., Khanna, R., & West-Strum, D. (2012). Hospitalization burden among individuals with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(1), 95–104.
Ruble, L. A., Heflinger, C. A., Renfrew, J. W., & Saunders, R. C. (2005). Access and service use by children with autism spectrum J Autism Dev Disord (2016) 46:1441–1454 1453
Semansky, R. M., Xie, M., & Mandell, D. S. (2011). Medicaid’s increasing role in treating youths with autism spectrum disorders. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 62(6), 588.