Costs of Substance Abuse

Nine people accounted for 2,678 of the emergency room visits in the Austin, Texas, area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report by the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients. The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless.
Source: St.Petersburg Times. 4th April 2009

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