Friday, January 03, 2014

ERs not emptying soon

According to a story in the NYT, the new health law may increase ER visits. Sabrina Tavernise writes about this Jan 2, 2014.

The idea is that people with insurance will now just go to their doctor instead of piling into the ERs.

In Oregon, they looked at this. The had two groups--those who got Medicaid in a lottery and those who entered and didn't get it.

The insured people went to the ER far more often.

They claim to not know why this is. I can tell you.

--They think the insurance will cover most of it.

--The ER is handy. You can have two jobs and go to the doc late at night.

--You can get all tests at the ER--and not hare around town finding an approved imaging place and an approved lab.

--If you are pretty sick, the hospital is right there.

--And my favorite--primary doctors often SEND you to the ER. This happens when they don't have or run out of same-day appts or if your problem sounds bad.

ERs only account for 4% of spending anyhow. But, yes, the charges there are crazy--two stitches for $3500. That kind of thing.

One expert said people would quit going so much when their "new plans" cut in and they had to pay the deductibles. Oh, joy.

No comments: