Obamacare Will Increase ER Crowding

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“…The real problem, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians, isn’t caused by people who don’t have insurance — it’s caused by people who do, but still can’t find a doctor to treat them.

A full 97 percent of ER doctors who responded to the ACEP survey said they treated patients “daily” who have Medicaid (the federal-state health plan for the low-income), but who can’t find a doctors who will accept their insurance.

At the same time, 97 percent of ER doctors also said they treat patients daily who have private insurance and primary care doctors, but whose primary care doctors sent them to the emergency room for care. Apparently that’s because the patient’s need for care arose during a time when that private doctor’s office was closed.

Since these insured patients are more — not less — likely to use the emergency department, 89 percent of physicians in the survey said they believe the number of visits to emergency rooms will increase as the new health law is implemented. (The findings also echoed the results of a December survey of more than 600 emergency department administrators by the Schumacher Group.)

“The results are significant,” said ACEP President Sandra Schneider in prepared comments. “They confirm what we are witnessing in Massachusetts — that visits to emergency rooms are going to increase across the country, despite the advent of health care reform, and that health insurance coverage does not guarantee access to medical care.” Read more here: OBAMACARE will make ER crowding worse

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