Overcrowded ER visits even after new health care changes
POSTED: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 3:13pm
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — A new survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians says hospital emergency room visits will be more overcrowded in the next few years even with changes in the Affordable Care Act.
We spoke to local doctors at Urgent Cares and they agree, they're getting the spillover from the ER.
"There's certainly been an increase in the number of patients obtaining insurance through the Affordable Care Act," said Dr. Benjamin Constante of Moment Urgent Care in Tyler.
"They feel a little bit more enabled to go see a doctor now that they have insurance," said Dr. Bill Wallace of Tyler Urgent Care.
Dr. Wallace says there's a large never of Primary Care doctors that haven't signed up for providers, so now you have a patient who has insurance and doesn't have a primary care doctor.
"So people don't have a whole lot of choice on where to go and they're going to get seen somewhere, which brings them into the ER," said Dr. Constante.
We're told some patients leave the hospital emergency room and go to urgent care because it's affordable, they can't afford the deductible from their insurance plan.
"You flood the system with more patients, but haven't had an increase in providers, there's so much that the system can take," said Dr. Wallace.
The Association of Medical Colleges estimates there will be fewer than 30,000 Primary Care Physicians in the United States to meet patient demand next year. "If they're going to seek medical attention it is more likely to be a walk-in clinic, an urgent care clinic or in the ER," said Dr. Wallace.
If you would like to learn more about the ACEP survey please click the link below: