Emergency medicine (EM), or unscheduled care, must be part of a health care organization’s successful transition to value-based care (VBC). EM can take place in hospital-based emergency departments (EDs), free-standing EDs (FSED), and urgent care centers (UCCs).

Since EM is often associated with reactive sick care, much of the investment in VBC is focused on preventative and wellness care. Understanding and managing ED performance in terms of quality, efficiency, and patient experience is vital to the transition to VBC.

The paradox is that while the hype concerning population health and VBC is in part intended to reduce ED volumes, visits continue to grow at an impressive rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 130.4 million ED visits in the United States in 2013, or 41.9 visits per 100 persons…

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