Reforming Delivery
Emergency Room Use Thwarts Health Reform
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  • Corlyss

    Isn’t “Where is the emergency room?” the second English phrase the Raza activists tell their illegals to learn in English? No. 1 would be “I am a refugee from gangs and drug cartels that will kill me if you don’t let me mooch off your generosity” or words to that effect . . .

  • Andrew Allison

    There’s more to this than meets the eye. Expanded Medicaid obviously encourages ER usage by those unwilling or unable to find a service provider willing to accept Medicaid reimbursement; but even subsidized ACA has high deductibles and co-pays, a disincentive for the insured to use the ER for routine care.

  • B-Sabre

    There was a recent discussion on NPR on how ACA is impacting free clinics – apparently more of them are going out of operation because they can’t afford the operational and adminstrative overhead imposed by the ACA, and their former clients are caught in a trap: ACA has forced their former low-cost provider out of business, but with the high deductibles and narrow coverage of the ACA mandated insurance, they can’t afford to go to another provider. Three guesses where they end up, and it rhymes with “urgency groom”.
    The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

  • John Stephens

    Is there a law that requires hospitals to maintain an Emergency Room? What would happen if they stopped?

  • The expansion of health insurance doesn’t do anything to improve access to healthcare providers on an after-hours basis, for those sorts of healthcare needs that could, in principle, be handled outside the ER but there’s no actual opportunity to do so.

    A while back, my son got a bad splinter in his foot over the weekend — too far in for us to handle at home. We actually went to what we believed was an “urgent care” facility (we were out-of-town) but it turned out to be an ER that also handled “urgent care” cases, yet determined, based on the particulars, whether it was an “urgent care” or “ER” treatment and charged accordingly. Unfortunately for us, it was deemed to be an ER treatment.

    If, on top of this, we imagine that the formerly uninsured are not just careless but don’t have primary care doctors or, more significantly, don’t have as much flexibility to see a doctor during their limited business hours, and the Walgreen’s-type clinics are great, but there are significant limits to what they can do, then it makes perfect sense that they continue to use the ER.

    Here’s an idea: why can’t hospitals transform the ER into a true combined ER and Urgent Care clinic, in which patients are triaged to the right spot and can have their healthcare needs met without paying all the ER overhead when it’s not needed?

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