Factors Associated with Emergency Department Utilization and Admission in Patients with Colorectal Cancer

Tiffany K. Weidner, John T. Kidwell, David A. Etzioni, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Holly K. Van Houten, Dennis Asante, Molly Moore Jeffery, Nilay Shah, Nabil Wasif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: We assessed emergency department (ED) utilization in patients with colorectal cancer to identify factors associated with ED visits and subsequent admission, as well as identify a high-risk subset of patients that could be targeted to reduce ED visits. Methods: Data from Optum Labs Data Warehouse, a national administrative claims database, was retrospectively analyzed to identify patients with colorectal cancer from 2008 to 2014. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with ED visits and ED “super-users” (3+ visits). Repeated measures analysis was used to model ED visits resulting in hospitalization as a logistic regression based on treatments 30 days prior to ED visit. Results: Of 13,466 patients with colorectal cancer, 7440 (55.2%) had at least one ED visit within 12 months of diagnosis. Factors associated with having an ED visit included non-white race, advancing age, increased comorbidities, and receipt of chemotherapy or radiation. 69.2% of patients who visited the ED were admitted to the hospital. A group of 1834 “super-users” comprised 13.6% of our population yet accounted for 52.1% of the total number of ED visits and 32.3% of admissions. Conclusions: Over half of privately insured patients undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer will visit the ED within 12 months of diagnosis. Within this group, we identify common factors for a high-risk subset of patients with three or more ED visits who account for over half of all ED visits and a third of all admissions. These patients could potentially be targeted with alternative management strategies in the outpatient setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-920
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Emergency department
  • Emergency room
  • Readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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