Monday, October 27, 2008
Uninsureds not the ones slamming the ERs
…As anyone who has not been in a coma knows, 47 million people are uninsured in this country (and HA may be joining them, oh, joy).
…This is not, however, why ERs are so crowded—with the uninsured waltzing over for "free" medical care.
…The Univ of Michigan took a look at this and HA has written about it. The insured outnumber the uninsured on the ER and are not some big pain because they should be at their own doctor—the insured are instead a valuable revenue source for ERs.
…Get sick on a weekend, or call your doctor late in the day—they will SEND you to the ER.
…Insured people only pay part of the ER bill—so are more likely to go there for minor things.
…It’s more expensive to take care of someone in the ER than at the doctor’s office. And if you are insured, you will pay not a $40 copay--but $150 or more. And them come ask for it when you are lying on the gurney.
….More people going to the ER has to do with the lack of primary care doctors and the rise of chronic conditions in a more elderly population than with uninsured people looking for free care.
…Out here, there is also the myth that the ERs are crowded with illegals. Since the southwest is fast approaching a majority Hispanic society, it’s hard to tell by looking who is legal.
…And sick is sick.. Are we humans or not?
…And might HA add from her EXTENSIVE experience with ERs, going there can mean hours of waiting, exposure to disgusting germs, snippy personnel, people who lie to you, and endless soul-sapping nonsense.
…But she’s not bitter at all.
…Urgent Care is a little better.