I've been working in various ERs since 1979, and yup, there is a lot more testing. But golly, back in 1979 we didn't have: ct scans, mri scans, we didn't even have an ultrasound in our hospital at that time. We didn't have ck-mbs, troponines, bnps, d-dimers, or even bedside glucose testing. So, sure we do a lot more testing today. Because it's available.
ER patients are totally different that patients who present to physicians' offices. Of course, the same thing may be true at the office, but we have one chance to determine what's going on with the patient so we do and should utilize everything within our means to do it (well, within reason). Which is the point of what we do, really.
So far, I haven't worked at a facility that said, go do that ____ test so we can make _____ bucks. Wouldn't really work as such a huge amount of our patient population is indigent and can't/won't pay anyway.
As far as sending patients to the unit or the floor at inopportune times, well, welcome to my world. I swear we don't do it on purpose to wreck your day. Really.
One hospital had a great solution for all the patients waiting for beds in the ER. They decided to utilize all the patient care units to hold patients until the actual bed was ready. They would take turns - one patient to a hall bed on the medical floor, one to a hall bed on the surgical floor, one to a hall bed on the whatever floor, one to a hall bed in the ER (they checked this out with OSHA and HIPAA etc before initiating this). Worked great, and amazingly, patients got an actual bed in a much timely manner. Food for thought.