Emergency Room Fees For Non Emergent Cases

1276 Words Sep 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Emergency Room Fees for Non-Emergent Cases
Description of Problem
The Emergency Department (ED) is the highest cost environment to receive non-emergent care. The public views the ED as a safety net; more and more people are seeking treatment in the ED for non-urgent problems. This circumstance not only exacerbates overcrowding, it diverts attention from critically ill or injured patients and can diminish the quality of their treatment. Overcrowding in the ED is a problem that leads to delays in treatment and poor health outcomes (Hutchinson, 2015). ED overcrowding historically has been a problem seen most often in inner-city academic hospitals, but the issue is now a crisis in both urban and rural settings. Such use of expensive emergency services is often pointed to as a source of excess health spending. It has been argued that significant savings, as well as increased quality of care, could be achieved if these patients used appropriate sources of care (Baker & Baker, 1994).
One of the primary goals of the Affordable Care Act was to expand access to affordable health care, but in the five years since its passage, while more people have health coverage, they do not necessarily have access to affordable health care. Additionally, many recipients of federal funds have been forced to accept payment reductions in order to pay for the subsidies that have facilitated the expansion of health care (Galewitz, 2012). The justification for the cuts to hospital payments was…
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