Emergency Department Admissions Are More Profitable Than Non–Emergency Department Admissions

Well, now…

From the “I wouldn’t have believed it, either” files comes this paper from the Annals of Emergency Medicine:

Study objectiveJournal Home

We compare the contribution margin per case per hospital day of emergency department (ED) admissions with non-ED admissions in a single hospital, a 600-bed, academic, tertiary referral, Level I trauma center with an annual ED census of 100,000.


In summary, ED admissions in our institution generate a higher contribution margin per day than non-ED admissions.

Should make for friendlier conversations with your administrators.


  1. I wonder if this was supposed to be published in the Journal of Irreproducible Results. On a more serious side, I think that the type of facility and its location play a large role. This is from a trauma center which is not the place where you would be admitted for an elective total knee or CABG.

  2. Another study coming to the same conclusion:

    Contribution of ED admission to inpatient hospital revenue
    Sacchetti, A, Harris, RH, Warden, T, Roth, S
    Am J Emer Med. 2002 Jan;20(1):30-1

  3. A new study published in this month’s issue of Academic Medicine proves that effort does matter, and that learning is possible. Even established clinicians can be re-inspired to adopt new humanistic skills, becoming better teachers and role models in the process.


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