Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'Significant' Increase in Emergency Room Visits Under Obamacare, Poll: American College of Emergency Physicians

Part of the political sales pitch for Obamacare was a promise that emergency room visits would decrease.  But that can't happen when you add insureds to the rolls while simultaneously making it less desirable to practice medicne.  More demand and less supply means longer wait times than ever.  That equation, for many, means a visit to the emergency room for primary care needs.

As Kathryn Mayer at BenefitsPro writes, "Specifically, 28 percent [of doctors] report 'significant increases' in all emergency patients since the requirement to have health insurance took effect. Only 3 percent of doctors reported any decrease in ER visits. In addition, more than half (56 percent) said the number of Medicaid emergency room patients is increasing."

Furthermore, 70 percent of doctors further reported that their emergency department is not “adequately prepared for potentially substantial increases in patient volume.”

And as you can see from the below graph from the Scranton Times Tribune, the problem is not trending in the right direction.