If you think the overcrowding in emergency rooms across the country is because of the uninsured, think again.
A new study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reports that of patients who are frequent users (over 4 times a year) of emergency departments (ED), the uninsured represent only 15 percent of those frequent users.
Also, the frequent ED users were more likely than occasional users to have visited a primary care physician in the previous year.
They also found that most patients who frequently use the ED have health insurance and the majority of users (60 percent) were white. These findings contradict the widely held assumption that frequent users are minorities or illegal immigrants without insurance. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Last year when I interviewed then-American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) President Nick Jouriles I was disappointed that the ACEP had not staked out a clear position on healthcare reform. However, it wasn’t terrible that they didn’t have a position at that time, because the House bill was still being finished up and the Senate was still mired deeply in the fruitless “Gang of Six” negotiations. If ACEP wasn’t going to endorse reforms sight unseen, that was pretty reasonable, I thought. President Jouriles suggested that, in time, ACEP would weigh in with a position, one way or the other.
But we never heard ACEP take a position in the intervening months. So when I saw this post appear over at The Central Line, linking to this letter on the ACEP web site from ACEP’s current president, Angela Gardner, I was not surprised to see that ACEP has taken the weasel’s path and abstained from taking a position on the more or less final healthcare reform package. It’s pathetic, and brings into question whether ACEP can fulfill one of its most crucial functions: advocating for emergency room patients and advocating for emergency medicine physicians. The excuses offered by Dr Gardner for ACEP’s reticence to take a stand are fairly lame. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*