Emergency department use among older adults with dementia

Michael A. LaMantia, Timothy E. Stump, Frank C. Messina, Douglas K. Miller, Christopher M. Callahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Although persons with dementia are frequently hospitalized, relatively little is known about the health profile, patterns of health care use, and mortality rates for patients with dementia who access care in the emergency department (ED). We linked data from our hospital system with Medicare and Medicaid claims, Minimum Data Set, and Outcome and Assessment Information Set data to evaluate 175,652 ED visits made by 10,354 individuals with dementia and 15,020 individuals without dementia over 11 years. Survival rates after ED visits and associated charges were examined. Patients with dementia visited the ED more frequently, were hospitalized more often than patients without dementia, and had an increased odds of returning to the ED within 30 days of an index ED visit compared with persons who never had a dementia diagnosis (odds ratio, 2.29; P<0.001). Survival rates differed significantly between patients by dementia status (P<0.001). Mean Medicare payments for ED services were significantly higher among patients with dementia. These results show that older adults with dementia are frequent ED visitors who have greater comorbidity, incur higher charges, are admitted to hospitals at higher rates, return to EDs at higher rates, and have higher mortality after an ED visit than patients without dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Dementia diagnosis
  • Emergency department
  • Survival rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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