Study questions conventional thought on who uses ERs

  1. From the December 6, 2002 print edition

    The Denver Business Journal

    Amy Fletcher Denver Business Journal

    Hospitals have been saying for years that uninsured people are less likely to see a physician for routine care and more likely to end up in the emergency room-the most expensive place to provide care.

    But the largest household survey ever conducted in Colorado on health insurance, completed last year, raises some questions about that conventional wisdom. The uninsured may not use emergency rooms any more than insured people.

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    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 9, '04
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  3. by   WashYaHands
    Denver Health has walk-in clinics open during the day that accept patients who may otherwise have sought treatment in the emergency room for more routine care.
    It would be interesting to know if those insured people who used the ER used it in the evening after the walk-in clinics were closed.

    One problem that I see is that even if you have insurance it takes a few days to get an appointment at the primary care clinic because they are so booked. I think people with an acute illness get frustrated with having to wait days for an appointment and so they go to the ER out of necessity.

    We have a new walk in after hours & weekend clinic here staffed with NP's. It will be interesting to see if this relieves the problem somewhat.

  4. by   purplemania
    I would be more impressed with the survey if it had been done in the ED, or several ED's, rather than door-to-door. People say anything, or misunderstand the question, etc. But if they are sitting in the waiting room, that speaks volumes!