Abstract for: Exploring a New Mechanism Increasing Emergency Department Visits

Per capita visits to the emergency department have increase dramatically over the past two decades. This model examines this change from an endogenous viewpoint, as a result of competing interests among different actors within the broader healthcare system interacting with patients. A new mechanism is proposed in which general practitioners have redirected patients to the emergency room instead of directly admitting them to the hospital as a result of third party payers attempting to control rising healthcare costs by reducing hospital admissions. The resulting model shows this mechanism could account for a significant portion of the increase in emergency department use.