The Rapid Evolution Of Health Care

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The Stand Alone ER "The Rapid Evolution of Health Care" By Steve Okhravi, MD, MBA, CPE July 16, 2012 Emergency care in the US is at a breaking point. Per data from The Institute of Medicine, over 1000 hospitals closed in the past few years because of the enormous cost associated with operation. There has been an increase in the number of visits to emergency rooms (ERs) to more than 120 million mostly due to those who are uninsured who, as a result, have a lack of access to primary care. As the number of those who are uninsured grows because of the recession so, too, does the community who turns to ER services for their health care needs. Clearly, ER provides a safety net for the medically underserved. With the passage of the healthcare law, the shortage of primary care resources will be more noticeable. And, that means people will resort to ERs to seek care since they cannot access their doctors after usual office hours, on weekends or during holidays. In mid-year 2012, there is currently a shortage of 150,000 primary care physicians. And, by 2020, it is projected there will be an additional 50,000 PC physician shortage. There are about 4,600 ERs nationwide and the numbers are decreasing. Overcrowded and slow ERs are symptoms of deeper problems in our health care system. The American College of Emergency Physicians recently gave the nation 's ER system a “D-“rating for access of care and “C-“overall. Stand Alone emergency rooms are like an ER whereby you are
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