What is this run to the ER business all about? With the Affordable Care Act, most folks have health insurance.
I want to talk about is the state of American mentality when it comes to health complaints and running to the ER. We've lost sight of what the ER is really for.
The flawed thought process of the American culture today believes that life should be painless and if it's not then there's something badly wrong. The truth is, life isn't painless and that is normal. Pain is inevitable in life and none of us have the right to be pain-free. To exist is to suffer pain at times.
Emergency rooms are for emergencies. Not colds, the flu, nausea or diarrhea. 75 percents of people who go to the ER do not have real emergencies. People don't seem to understand what emergency rooms are for these days.
"I feel okay, but I have a urinary tract infection. I have an appointment with my physician tomorrow but wanted to get checked out to make sure I'm alright."
"I feel nauseous, but I have no other symptoms. Just wanted to get checked out."
'I think I may have the flu. My nose is stuffy and I have a headache."
When people try to get answers for their symptoms online they frequently match them up with cancer, Ebola or some other horrendous disease, another reason to rush to the emergency room in a panic.
Patients are frequently sent to the ER by their primary care physician for liability reasons. No doctor wants to be accused of negligence because they didn't get a patient checked out and the patient suffers further medical problems or even death because of it.
So the emergency room has become the go-to place even before anyone considers their primary care doctor or urgent care. A lot of this nonsense began when President Reagan enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, (EMTALA) that stipulates that emergency rooms cannot turn anyone away because of non-payment. Yet, another example of government run amuck.
While it sounds good in theory, many emergency rooms couldn't afford to keep their doors open when they were not being paid for the care they provided. It's true that the problem needed to be addressed, but not in this manner.
Now the government has mandated insurance for everyone, but it's still costly. Patients with Medicaid are not required to pay up, so they don't even stop to consider going anywhere but the emergency room for every little problem, just because they can. frivolous emergency visits are skyrocketing.
Everyone deserves great medical care. but expecting the emergency rooms in the country to accept the responsibility for this medical catastrophe simply won't work. EMTALA will never end, and doctors paid by Medicaid won't magically become faster and more productive at treating patients. So the problem of overcrowded and underpaid emergency rooms will continue all across the land.
Expecting the ER to carry the burden that our doctor's offices can't will never work. Obamacare was certainly well-intentioned, but it's rapidly breaking the insurance companies who are trying to provide care for everyone, even if they have serious pre-existing conditions. Eventually, all the insurance companies will fold because they simply cannot afford to pay for everyone's health without discrimination. Then the only thing we'll be left with will be the government footing the bill. That all sounds fine and dandy till you realize that the only thing wrong with socialized medicine is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money. This will further compound the problem of ER's being overcrowded and underpaid. A recipe for disaster, no doubt.