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ER Visits on the Rise Despite Affordable Care Act

Guest : Rebecca Parker, MD
Summary: A recent poll shows that ER visits are on the rise since the Affordable Care Act was put into effect.
Air Date: 6/6/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
ER Visits on the Rise Despite Affordable Care Act
A recent poll shows that ER visits are on the rise since January 1, 2014, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was fully put into effect.

But wait a minute... wasn't the ACA supposed to fix the healthcare system, not make it worse?

There are a lot of factors that go into this rise in ER visits. Actually, many physicians knew this trend was going to occur based on past experience.

A key thing to remember is that just because you have health insurance, doesn't mean you have health care. Coverage does not equal access.

Some of the increase could be due to people who are finally able to "afford" to go to the doctor. Oftentimes, these people have waited so long that the medical issue they're experiencing truly has become an emergency.

In fact, when patients call their primary care physician for an emergency-type issue, four out of five physicians will recommend that they go to the ER. People are using the ER when they need to, not just willy-nilly.

Over 90 percent of patients do actually belong there.

The problem arises because the ACA has helped increase the demand for healthcare, but the supply of doctors is the same.

What is the answer to this conundrum?

Special guest, Dr. Rebecca Parker joins Dr. Leigh to discuss the rise in Emergency Department visits, as well as the future of Emergency care.
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