Data released this summer from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated the average emergency room (ER) visit times for each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Patients in Washington, D.C. had the longest average visit — at 5 hours and 29 minutes.
The shortest median visit was in North Dakota, where patients spent an average of 1 hour and 48 minutes in the ER.
The data came from the CMS “Timely and Effective Care” measurements, collected between October 2021 and September 2022.
They were released on July 26.
The numbers included visits of children and adults whose care was covered by Medicare’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System or Outpatient Prospective Payment System.
Also included were visits from hospitals that chose to report visit information for Medicare patients, Medicare managed care patients and non-Medicare patients.
Below are the average visit times by state, from shortest to longest, as compiled by Becker’s Hospital Review:
Median visit times have been on the rise amid staffing shortages and an increase in patient volume.
The average visit time nationwide is 160 minutes, up from 155 minutes as of September 2021 and 143 minutes in 2020, per CMS data.
Between 2011 and 2021, emergency department visits among patients less than 65 years old that were paid by Medicaid rose from 34% to 45.3%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).