Younger Employees More Likely Emergency Room Patients

November 15, 2007 ( - A new study by a South Florida workers' compensation consultant has found that younger employees hurt while at work are more likely to end up in a hospital emergency room than their older colleagues.

NCCI Holdings Inc. said its research based on claims data submitted between 1996 and 2003 found that those ages 20 to 34 are 5.9% more likely to seek emergency medical care than are employees age 45 to 64.

NCCI said 122,990 out of a total 296,372 claims, or 41.5% of the younger group’s workers’ compensation claims, included emergency services. That compares to 90,417, or 35.6% of, claims that included emergency services for the older group.

Younger workers are less likely to be insured or have a regular doctor, the Boca Raton-based NCCI pointed out, and may more readily turn to an emergency room when a medical issue is not an emergency.

NCCI also found evidence that younger and older workers are billed similar amounts for similar treatments, so price discrepancy is not a factor. The study is here .