Why ER Visits for Non-Emergencies Aren’t Going Away

via Wall Street Journal

Year after year, the emergency department where I practice medicine continues to see more patients. What’s going on? One reason has been identified: no timely access to a primary-care provider. For many patients, the emergency department is their only reliable access to health care. The latest surge is attributed to newly-insured Medicaid patients looking for care and struggling to find it. But that’s only part of the situation.

Limited access has been a constant story line during my 35 years in emergency medicine. Patients are vulnerable—they get hurt; they are old; they are young; they are weak; they are bleeding; they have collapsed. Health-care economists, administrators and process managers opine that patients without “true emergencies” should be directed to family doctors, urgent-care centers and outpatient clinics. Patients are chastised for “unnecessary” visits that can cost thousands of dollars. That might sound reasonable but ignores what patients experience and perceive. Remember: You can’t teach patients economics lessons when they don’t feel well.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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About thebenefitblog

Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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