That’s a question I often ask.
Everybody knows that some people use ERs in place of a primary care physician or an urgent care clinic.
That’s costly to the healthcare system since an average ER bill is around $1,000 while an average bill at a Minute Clinic or one of Walmart’s ProCare clinics is about around $50.
Currently, Federal law requires ER physicians to look at everyone who comes to the ER and treat those who have life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
So, the “system” has pay a $950 premium and seriously hurt or ill patients get to wait in long queues to get treated.
Bad deal all around..
A hospital in Odessa Texas is trying to attack the problem buy requiring patients to post a $250 deposit if they want to be treated in the ER minor ailments
According to OAOA.com…
When someone comes into the Medical Center Hospital ER, they’re assessed to determine the severity of their ailments.
Based on the examination a doctor decides whether or not the person’s injury or illness requires a stay in the ER.
If the injury or illness is determined to be minor, they’ll be directed to a local clinic rather than be treated in the ER.
People with chest pains, abdominal pains or high risk conditions like tuberculosis are the types of patients who would not be redirected to a clinic.
In addition, children younger than 10 years-old and adults older than 65 years old will not be redirected either.
But if that person chooses to remain in the ER and have their minor ailment treated there, they will have to pay a $250 deposit,
The new measure is part of an effort to redirect those without serious issues to more appropriate places for treatment and streamline the ER.
Sounds like a step in the right direction, but I still gotta ask: Why aren’t there Minute Clinics next to every ER?
Have a stern triage nurse out front directing folks to turn right into the ER or turn left into the clinic.
Everybody gets appropriate treatment and we actually save some healthcare costs … rather than just shuffling around who pays for what.
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