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RJ

The Er Myth -

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This is in todays USA Today's issue. The ObamaCare package will not eleminate the dependence on Emergency Rooms.

 

This isn't a gotcha thread. The facts speak for themselves. The Obama Care package will increase pressure on every aspect of the nations medical community, especially the Emergency Room.

 

Many Hospitals are eleminating ER's. Individual doctors, who are swamped with patients, are in a position, now, where they can not increase their practice's. They are turning away young and old patients.

 

This is serious. What are your thoughts on the situation?

 

 

The ER Myth

By Marc Siegel USA Today

 

One of the major myths attached to the new health reform law is that it will lead to fewer emergency room visits. Instead of having to go to the ER, the claim goes, more efficient care will be administered to the newly insured in doctors offices by primary care physicians like me.

 

President Obama himself perpetuated this claim. A year ago at a town hall meeting on health care reform, he said, "We know that when somebody doesn't have health insurance, they're forced to get treatment at the ER, and all of us end up paying for it. ... You'd be better off subsidizing to make sure they were getting regular checkups." In late May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in Roll Call that "the uninsured will get coverage, no longer left to the emergency room for medical care."

 

Now we know better.

 

It's not terribly surprising that real data from Massachusetts, which has had universal health coverage since 2006, show otherwise. From 2004 to 2008, ER visits in the Bay State rose by 9%, with no discernable improvement after 2006.

 

Why? At least part of the reason has been the inability of patients to find primary care physicians for last-minute visits.

 

Let's face it: The ER won't turn you away, but individual and overburdened doctors can and will.

 

The Massachusetts Medical Society has reported that new patients wait for a primary care doctor visit up to two months.

 

A problem for all of us

 

With the new national health care law, Massachusetts' problem very well may be manifested across the USA. Already, we don't have enough doctors. Indeed, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the U.S. will be 160,000 short by 2025. ERs, too, have downsized over time.

 

A yearly survey by the American Hospital Association has shown a 10% decline in emergency departments from 1991 to 2008, despite an increasing demand for such care. So if we have depleted ERs, not enough doctors and millions of more patients, the math doesn't work.

 

 

To make matters worse, 16 million more patients will be eligible for Medicaid by 2014, but doctors are limiting the number of such patients they see. Where will these patients go? You got it. The ER.

 

Medicare will soon have the same problem, as more than 70 million Baby Boomers begin to flood the system.

 

Yet instead of simply complaining about our impending doom as we add 30 million more people to the health insurance coffers, I suggest that the folks in Washington transitioning the health care reform from law into reality must deal with the world as it exists, not as it was sold to the American people.

 

What can be done?

 

First, tackle the doctor shortage. In June, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that $250 million will be set aside to create 1,700 new primary care doctors, new clinics and to implement strategies to expand the workforce. This is a step forward - albeit a very small one. Medical students need to have incentives - scholarships, loan forgiveness or better pay - that will push more of them into primary care rather than more lucrative specialties.

 

Second, we need strategies to make medicine more efficient so patients get better, rather than rushed, care. Recent research suggests that computer analysis and improved schedule strategies can decrease patient waiting time by 40%. Integrating nurse practitioners and physicians assistants into doctors' practices also would help.

 

Most important will be re-orienting our system away from emergency intervention. Diet, exercise and smoking cessation would unclog ERs in a hurry.

 

New technology and education can help doctors and patients predict, prevent, diagnose and treat a disease before it requires an urgent medical visit.

Consider the ER challenge just one of many we're likely to see as the health care law reveals itself, bit by bit, to the American people.

 

Marc Siegel is an internist and an associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. He is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

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NS Mike D,

 

That is the problem. The new medical care doesn't do a thing to increase service while they are adding up to 30 million new possible patients.

 

It increased the reports, the penalties and the regulations, but it doesn't address the basic reason why people go to ER's.

 

Under our laws anyone who needs medical attention who can walk thru or be carried thru an ER Door will be treated. Thet has been the law for a couple of decades.

 

The tax payer and the consumers who have enough money for insurance will pay for all of the extra costs. Most of the people who have the so called Caddillac Policy's are Union Workers. They will be penalized for that. Obama met with the unions and said he would adjust the law to exclude Unions.

 

It didn't happen. They will either have to pay for the policies or take policies that are not so all encompassing.

 

Do you believe the 2% that represents the really rich have enough money to tax to cover the costs of the Obama Care requirements? Do you believe that if you make over $250,000.00 your taxes age going up? Way up??

 

Do you believe if you make $247,000.00 your taxes are not going to increase?

 

When the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of this year. Everyone who pays taxes will get slammed with the largest increase in the history of the United States. + the increased taxes we must pay for medical care.

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View PostNS Mike D,

 

That is the problem. The new medical care doesn't do a thing to increase service while they are adding up to 30 million new possible patients.

 

Well, If the people who are now covered under Obamacare go to a doctors office when they have a cold/flu instead of the ER it saves money. If a person who is looking for a free bottle of Advil can go to the doctors office instead and get it that will save money.

 

RJ, You would be amazed at what the ER has been used for. I've been there a couple times in the past 4-5 years and I can honestly says that 90% of the people there should not have been at the ER. They are there looking for basic medical care for FREE. Problem is ER care costs a lot more than doctor care.

 

I agree insuring these people will cost money. No doubt about it. But the pressure on the ER should go way down.... Time will tell if the people using the ER as a doctor's office are smart enough to go to the doctor's office instead......I don't think anything makes them have to go to a doctor instead of the ER and to me that was HUGE mistake in the legislation, among others....

 

John

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They must have missed the section that was to deal with ER care in the 2000+ page health care bill...but they should have seen the oversight once it was passed....cuz nancy said we would finally see what was in it cwm27.gifcwm27.gifcwm27.gif

 

Government can't run anything efficiently or effectively....end of story shakehead.gif

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View PostNS Mike D,

 

 

That is the problem. The new medical care doesn't do a thing to increase service while they are adding up to 30 million new possible patients.

 

 

I increased the reports, the penalties and the regulations, but it doesn't address the basic reason why people go to ER's.

 

 

Under our laws anyone who needs medical attention who can walk thru or be carried thru an ER Door will be treated. Thet has been the law for a couple of decades.

 

 

The tax payer and the consumers who have enough money for insurance will pay for all of the extra costs. Most of the people who have the so called Caddillac Policy's are Union Workers. They will be penalized for that. Obama met with the unions and said he would adjust the law to exclude Unions.

 

 

It didn't happen. They will either have to pay for the policies or take policies that are not so all encompassing.

 

 

Do you elieve the 2% that represents the really rich have enough money to tax to cover the costs of the Obama Care requirements? Do you believe that if you make over $250,000.00 your taxes age going up? Way up??

 

 

Do you believe if you make $247,000.00 your taxes are not going to increase?

 

 

When the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of this year. Everyone who pays taxes will get slammed with the largest increase in the history of the United States. + the increased taxes we must pay for medical care.

 

just curious if you have an opinion on the gov of NJ eliminating the property tax rebate checks-this will amount to a huge tax increase as well for the people of NJ and not the rich ones but the lower to middle class ones-

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SS posted "just curious if you have an opinion on the gov of NJ eliminating the property tax rebate checks-this will amount to a huge tax increase as well for the people of NJ and not the rich ones but the lower to middle class ones-"

 

I do! But not on this thread. Canti would sissy slap me if I allowed you to change the direction of this ER Thread.

 

Start your own thread and list what you believe is true and c&p articles from local NJ papers with the author and dates the articles were published and I'd be glad to enter into a discussion with you.

 

I thought it was Corzine who was the "Eleminator" on tax rebates? Whoops!

 

I'll discuss this later when you start your own thread. Let us know your opinion on the subject up front too. OK. Thanks , you are a heart.gif mench!

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