Executive Summary

With the incidence of kidney stone disease on the rise, more of these patients are presenting to EDs for care. However, new data suggest that as many as one in nine of these patients will have to return for a second emergency visit. Researchers have linked a number of factors with these bounce-back visits, including issues impacting care access and quality.

  • The incidence of kidney stone disease has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, with more than one million patients seeking care in the ED every year.
  • Utilizing data from more than 128,000 visits to California EDs over a two-year period, researchers found that patients on Medicaid were at about a 50% higher risk of having a repeat ED visit than patients with commercial insurance.
  • In areas where there were few urologists, patients were also more likely to return to the ED for care.
  • Patients who had their blood counts checked during their initial ED visit were 12% less likely to require a return visit.