Too much non-emergency medical care is happening in emergency rooms. In the Washington Post today I point out that emergency care costs are soaring, and so are visits to the emergency room — often when it’s completely unnecessary. In those cases it’s also much less helpful care that patients receive.
As I explain in the article, when emergency care is not appropriate, patients pay a premium and do not get the care they need:
“ER doctors rarely have relationships with the patients we see, and we don’t have time for a lengthy dialogue about their ailments. So we often order expensive tests that add to a hospital’s already-high fixed costs.”
Patient education is part of the answer, but preventative and basic non-emergency care must be made more accessible to people in their communities.