Coley KC, Saul MI, Seybert AL
J Emerg Med 2009 Jan;36(1):3-7
The objective of this cohort study was to examine the diagnostic patterns and resource utilization of patients presenting to the Emergency Department with chest pain of unknown origin who may be experiencing a panic attack. Patients were excluded if they had coronary artery disease. In the 155 patients meeting study criteria, unspecified chest pain (78%) was the most common diagnostic code assigned. Total charges for the index hospitalization were $1,263,391 (median/visit = $7340). During the 1-year follow-up, 41% of patients had at least one repeat hospital visit and generated $1.6 million in charges. Patients on Medicare or Medicaid were more likely to have multiple hospital visits during the follow-up (odds ratio = 11.7). In conclusion, Emergency Department patients admitted with non-cardiac chest pain account for a significant amount of hospital resource use.