You Can’t Teach Economics to Sick Patients

Emergency rooms see an increase in patients every year. Many cannot get access to a primary care provider, and the ER is their only reliable source of medical care. The recent surge of patients has been those insured by Medicaid through Obamacare who are having a hard time finding care. Uninsured patients have no other option for emergency care. Insured patients use the ER for convenience of location and copay, rather than waiting for weeks for an appointment or driving to various specialists.

Healthcare economists and administrators believe that non-emergency patients should go to family doctors, urgent care centers, and outpatient clinics because these unnecessary ER visits can cost thousands. What constitutes a “real emergency”? It differs from patient to patient. When they don’t know what is wrong with them and they hurt, they don’t think about the cost. Emergency physicians are obligated to perform an exam, and at that point, they cannot turn the patient away or send them elsewhere. Urgent care centers are not able to handle real emergencies.

If patients could decipher if their condition requires emergency care, conditions would greatly improve. Realistically, emergency rooms should be made more efficient. Along with building up primary care and specialist access, telemedicine, and promoting wellness, patients need to be educated that the healthcare system will help them with their needs.

Non-emergency affordable medical care is accessible to all patients by using MediBid. If you are uninsured, have a high-deductible plan, or would like to access a physician outside your insurance network, place a procedure request today and see how much money you can save.
Auerbach, Paul. “Why ER Visits for Non-Emergencies Aren’t Going Away.” Opinion. The Wall Street Journal, 25 Sept 2015. Web. 27 Sept 2015.

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