Why Emergency Room Visits Are So Expensive

15 Feb 2017 Uncategorized

Why Emergency Room Visits Are So Expensive

Millions of Americans who visit emergency rooms every year get surprised at the high fees they are required to pay. Compared to a visit to a local clinic, you are likely to pay three times more when you visit an emergency room. A recurring question in many people’s minds is why emergency rooms charge so highly for even the most trivial operations. Well, to understand how the charge is so astronomical, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Cost Shifting

Millions of Americans are uninsured, yet they are still entitled to emergency care benefits whenever they need it. Many of the uninsured are the underprivileged in the society and are unable to pay their bills as a result of being unemployed, underpaid, orphaned, aged, and so on. To cater for the cost of those that cannot afford a health insurance cover, emergency rooms charge those that are already insured an extra amount over and above their bills. For this reason, the bill seems higher than you would expect.

Emergency rooms charge for everything

Every last resource you use at an emergency room, from an aspirin to the syringe, will be charged on your bill. Add that to the services you use, and a trip to the emergency room using the ambulance and the bill comes to a tidy sum. And don’t forget that the emergency room is constantly kept ready to handle emergency cases 24 hours every day. If you use the services of different departments of the same hospital, remember that every department will bill you separately, which is why you are likely to have many quotations even when you visit the same hospital. When these quotations are totaled, they may add up to a large sum.

Some levels of care attract a hefty bill

Many emergency rooms provide several levels of care, with each level attracting a different bill for the services offered at that level. For instance, you will pay less for having your earache addressed as you would for having a stroke. However, since the staff is always ready to serve you even when you are coming in for a minor issue, you will still pay a considerably higher amount so as to offset the cost of more complicated problems, especially if more people are coming in for less expensive treatments.

Different parties are involved in the billing process

One of the reasons you have a significantly high bill for emergency room services is that your provider, the hospital, and your insurance are interested parties in the billing process. The emergency room must come up with a figure that is higher than would have been the case since the insurance will bargain for a much less bill. Here’s an illustration: let’s assume your hospital charges you $6500, your health insurer might be willing to give only $700! Insurance companies are experts at bargaining, so don’t be shocked if you end up paying $1000 for the same bill. And that’s not all; your insurance will still want a slice of the $1000 depending on what is stipulated in your agreement with them as a repayment.

The costs of running an emergency room are high

A lot of the costs that an emergency room incurs are administrative, and these may be astronomical. There are many billing clerks and other hospital personnel in the emergency rooms that are always on the standby for emergency cases. The doctors are highly trained and experienced to handle emergency cases. Add this to the high-tech equipment and modern facilities in many emergency rooms, and the cost of simply running the facility becomes apparently high. This cost is eventually reflected in your health bill, whether you have visited the room with a life-threatening condition or you needed merely a few stitches.

Some of the drugs are very expensive

Some of the cases treated in emergency rooms, such as stroke, require very expensive drugs. In many cases, those that visit the ER with these cases are unable to pay for them. To cater for these bills, emergency rooms have to transfer a percentage of the costs to the bills of those that can afford to pay, hence making a visit to the emergency room becomes rather expensive.

The bill is covered by your insurance cover.

The reason for the inflated prices of emergency room services is that the insurance provider will foot the bill. For this reason, even simple drugs such as aspirin may be charged at well over $20 for one pill while an entire bottle of them costs less than a quarter of that at a drugstore.  

What should you do?

The fact that the emergency room services are costlier than those provided in other medical facilities cannot be disputed, but you need not be overly worried. Some emergency rooms in America are more willing to take care of your health at a cost that is friendly. Bellaire ER has for years provided Houston residents high-quality emergency services at very friendly rates.  A good emergency room should be able to offer prompt health care when required just like Bellaire ER, have no waiting time. In many emergency situations, immediate attendance may make the difference between life and death.

Who runs the emergency room

15 Feb 2017 Uncategorized

Who runs the emergency room

The ER is one of busiest places in the hospital. Each year, ERs such as Bellaire ER receive over 100 million people. They act as a safety net for millions of people who are unable to access proper health care.

Knowing how the ER is run could help to relieve some of the anxiety that comes with a visit to the ER. Besides that, it may help to reduce the amount of time you need to spend at the ER since you know who provides what services.

The Wait

The first person who contacts you at the ER is not the medical personnel. You will first speak to an administrative registration clerk. He or she will take your name and other personal details, including your date of birth. Additionally, the clerk will take information about your insurance provider.

After you are booked into the ER, you will then see the triage nurse. The term triage originated during the war. The nurse organizes you according to how much care you need and how soon you require receiving care.

In the ER, you should remember that care is not on a first come first serve basis. For instance, if you get to the ER and you are unconscious, you have symptoms indicative of a heart attack, or in an ambulance, you will receive care first. Someone who has a twisted ankle may have to wait a bit long. Sometimes, the triage nurse may determine that you do not need any care.

The Treatment

Once you move from the triage level, you will be received by an emergency department nurse in the treatment area. This nurse has a degree in nursing and training on how to handle emergency cases.

The emergency nurse handles everything. He or she can clean wounds, suction an airway, aid in a neurological evaluation, arrange for transport to another hospital, among many other functions. In some cases, you may also find a charge nurse.

He or she is in charge of all the nurses in the ER. The charge nurse oversees the dynamics of the ER and manages complex cases. The charge nurse may also assist the primary ER nurse to provide preliminary intervention for anything that you have.

In the treatment area, you will be received by the doctor after the nurse is done with you. Over 85% of all patients to the ER will get to see the doctor. The ER doctor will usually have completed medical school and their residency. Previously, most ER doctors had a background in family medicine, internal medicine, or surgery.

However, the ER is now mostly staffed by doctors who have full-time training in emergency medicine. Additionally, the ER doctor consults with other specialists as he or she treats patients in the ER such as cardiologists, neurologists, and many others.

In the ER, you will only get to see the attending doctor. However, if you go to an ER with a university affiliation, you may encounter medical students and resident doctors. Although the medical students can assist with care, they cannot direct your treatment.

Other People in the ER

In the ER, besides doctors and nurses, you may find physician assistants (PAs). PAs are qualified to practice medicine but under the direction of a doctor. There are also Nurse Practitioners (NPs), who are nurses that have masters or advanced training to handle patients in the ER. Though NPs and PAs provide care in the ER, they do so under the direction of a doctor.

In the modern ER, you may also find technicians who operate the equipment used there. These types of technical staff perform most of the medical testing. However, they are not in a position to respond to issues related to the test results.

If you are injured and required to be transported to the ER, you may encounter Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) on your way to the hospital.  These pros monitor your vital signs, provide care such as CPR, administer medication, and perform complex procedures.

Severe Cases

If you have severe trauma, a group of ER personnel will attend to you. The trauma team includes a surgeon, the attending doctor, a resident doctor, a specially trained nurse, and possibly a pharmacist to give you medical care.

In the ER room, you may also find a social worker or a chaplain. These people are intended to provide family members with the support they need. They can also relay questions to the medical officials that the family may have.

In some cases, you may find sexual assault nurse examiners or forensic nurses. These are nurses trained to collect evidence to treat patients that are victims of violence. Additionally, you will find escorts within the ER.

The transport team will assist you to move from the ER to other sections of the hospital. Outside the hospital, you will meet the transport team; they work to provide care to the critically injured. To avoid confusion, the medical staff at a hospital communicates via medical records.

Information keeps getting added to the medical record from the moment you make the first contact with the ER. If you have always wondered how the ER room runs, that is how the entire process works.

Who Invented the Emergency Room

Who Invented the Emergency Room

Television shows like ER have helped to romanticize the field of emergency medicine to the US public. However, the emergency room is at the center of a vicious battle. There are those that view the emergency field of medicine as a sinkhole that keeps sucking in money.  

How it began

The emergency room began after the Second World War. One of the reasons it rose was because of the baby boom and urban sprawl; the medical sector was forced to adapt. Physicians venturing away from the office to make home visits became increasingly hard.

After a while, house calls became impractical. Additionally, the federal government began to offer more support for hospital-based care rather than care offered at the home or the office. Another factor was that specialists began to increase. More specialists were spawned out of WW II.

Hospitals began to be viewed as life-sustaining centers. Besides that, there was the development of increasingly sophisticated diagnostic equipment such as the CT scan and cardiac monitoring. These devices allowed for emergency interventions to take place.

Besides that, experienced gained from the war on pre-hospital care made it feasible to have an emergency room. The Korean War brought on the realization that emergency care was seriously underfunded. It was usually a small room with a single overworked nurse.

In 1961, a group of four physicians from Alexandria, Virginia, left their practices and began to offer full-time service in the emergency department. Soon, other physicians in Flint and Pontiac, Michigan followed suit.

Later in that decade, the American College of Emergency Physicians was established by eight physicians in 1968. It helped to establish the process of educating future physicians of the emergency department.

The University of Cincinnati was the first to establish a residency program for the field in 1970. By 1975, the number of approved residencies had grown to 23. There were two academic departments handling emergency department with 100 residents.

On that year, emergency medicine became a permanent section after approval by the American Medical Association House of Delegates. The American Board of Emergency Medicine was approved in 1979 by the American Board of Medical Specialties. With that, it became the 23rd specialty recognized in US medicine. Certification for the specialty began the following year.

Shortly after, the requirements for joining an emergency residency training program were approved. Since 1982, the specialty has branched out into three subspecialties. These are medical toxicology, sports medicine, and emergency medicine.

Emergency medicine has experienced some phenomenal growth since the 80s. One of the things that spurred emergency medicine into the limelight was the attempted assassination of President Reagan in 1981.

Research published in 1985 helped to shed a spotlight on the need for in-hospital trauma care. The COBRA law passed in 1986 made it mandatory for hospitals to provide emergency care and stabilization without regard to a patient’s payer capability.

How Far the Emergency Room Has Come

In the early days, residency programs for emergency room doctors were not quite effective. In most cases, the trainees would learn through trial and error. When they rotated to other services, they were often viewed as oddities pursuing an unrecognized field of medicine.

The first emergency room doctors had to fight in the emergency room as well as with politicians to receive recognition. Although it took quite long, it helped to open the door for the approval of other fields of medicines. The struggle led to the creation of an official system for the approval of new fields of medicine.

Unlike the emergency room doctors of today, those of that era did not know their future. They had no certification board and had no guarantee that they would have a job in the next few years. They were mavericks who persevered amidst all the stress and anguish that it must have caused them.

Despite the lack of specializing equipment and funding, they managed to learn from each other. They helped each other by staying in constant communication with their peers.

Since then, visits to the emergency room have continued to grow. There was a small drop in visits in 1995, but the figure continued to grow. It is estimated that the emergency room receives around 100 million cases each year.

A significant number of these patients are the 41 million uninsured Americans who cannot afford regular care.  For them, it is the only way they can access modern medicine. The emergency room is increasingly seen as the only option for the uninsured and underinsured in the country.

The Current Numbers

In the US, there are about 5,000 emergency departments such as Bellaire ER. Besides that, an estimated 25,000 physicians are working in these departments. There are about 2700 physicians undergoing training to become certified emergency room doctors in the country.

The emergency medicine department is one of the most competitive for medical student applicants for over a decade. ACEP, which had just eight doctors in 1968 now has about 20,000 members. Additionally, there are over 4,000 members in the organization of academic emergency medicine.

Within the country’s medical schools, 50 departments teach emergency medicine. Additionally, there are over 20 sections and divisions that handle this field of medicine.

Which Medicare Covers Emergency Room Visits

Which Medicare Covers Emergency Room Visits

Medicare pays for an ER visit and almost all services offered at the emergency room within the US. However, in some cases, you could get coverage if you are outside the US. For instance, if you are in transit to the US through Canada and you have an emergency, you could get the cover you require for emergency room visits.

The US government publicly funds Medicare. The program is supposed to offer care mostly for those aged 65 and above and those that have certain disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. In most cases, users of Medicare will incur copayments.

Copayment is a small amount that the insured pays to cover the cost of a visit to an emergency room such as Bellaire ER. It helps to complete the cost of your ER visit. The amount is usually quite minimal.

Except for the small copayment, all Medicare insurance policies cover the cost of a visit to the emergency room. For a medical emergency, you do not need a referral from your doctor. Even when the situation is later not deemed to have been an emergency, Medicare covers for those of the ER visit.

The reason for this is that the patient is deemed to have had enough reason to believe that their visit was an emergency. For instance, you may experience chest pain, which you may believe is an indication that you may be having a heart attack. Later on, the ER doctor could say that you just had heartburn. The ER rooms are covered as outpatient hospitals in Medicare part B. Under the Medicare, costs of ER services are billed individually.

The initial checkup at the hospital is covered under Medicare Part B. Other services such as receiving scans and X-rays are covered separately. For the cost of these extra services like extensive testing, Medicare will only pay around 80% of the cost.

The remainder is billed to the patient. If you want to avoid these costs being billed to you, you can pay for supplementary insurance. It goes a long way in reducing the financial. It is also great if you want to avoid running your credit score.

How You Cover Works Outside the US

Medicare only works when you are within the US and its territories. This includes places such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii. However, there are some exceptions for people outside America. For instance, if you travel between Alaska and the US, you can receive Emergency Room care as long as you have Medicare.

Additionally, if you require emergency medical care on a ship docked in the US or more than six hours from land, you will receive coverage. The bill will be sent to your medical insurance provider. The access to emergency room care is guaranteed by US law. If your insurance provider does not cover you for ER visits, that is illegal.

Besides that, if you have Medicare, it must cover all follow-ups necessary after your initial visit to the ER. It is especially so if delaying the treatment because you have inadequate insurance could cause you problems. If you are not covered for such follow-ups, you have a right to appeal; there is a good chance you will succeed. In most cases, the patient can only co-pay the lesser of $50 or in-network costs.

Even without any medical cover, you are still legally supposed to receive attention at the ER. The ER should provide you with care even when it is clear that you have no means of affording the payment.

Tips to Keep in Mind

When you visit the ER, there are some tips that ensure that you will receive care efficiently. For instance, you must be ready to provide you medical history. You should give them a list of allergies, any supplements that you are taking, a list of previous hospital stays, a list of past chronic illnesses, vaccines given, any hereditary health problems and anything else the ER requires.

For high efficiency, you should record the information on a portable device. For instance, you can use a phone application that allows you to record your medical problems and any relevant medical data. That way, you will not have to remember such details when you are sick and hurting.

Always ask whether the tests and check could be done later by your in-network doctor. It may require that you undergo numerous tests when you arrive at the ER. However, these tests can be more expensive than having your doctor do them later. If possible, ask if the tests can be done later.

However, you should ensure that you are not exposing yourself to any risk by postponing the test. Ask the ER doctor if it is going to affect you in any way if you do that. If he or she does not have a problem with it, go no and do them at your next doctor’s visit.

You should also ensure that you check the ER bill regularly. Your cover pays for most of the ER bills. However, most insurers will only do so if you submit the bill to them. It is important to read through every bill to avoid paying for costs already covered by you insurance provider.

 

Where to Go For Emergency Room When You Don’t Have Insurance

Where to Go For Emergency Room When You Don’t Have Insurance

If you are one of the almost 50 million Americans who, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, do not have health insurance, you may hesitate to visit an emergency room. The services offered by emergency rooms may be quite costly compared to a visit to other health facilities, and without a health insurance cover, paying for them may be an uphill task. Still, there are times when you urgently need to seek medical care. So where do you go?  

The first option that comes to mind is for you to go to an emergency room anyway. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labour Act (EMTALA) stipulates that all persons are entitled to urgent medical treatment from any health institution, whether they have the means to pay for the service or not. Therefore, you won’t be turned away for seeking emergency treatment from an emergency room just because you are uninsured.  Having said that, it is still important to examine how an emergency room compensates for the bills incurred by those without medical cover and why it may be important for you to get one as soon as you can.

Who pays for the emergency room bills of the uninsured?

Now that you know you can walk into any emergency room in the United States and get emergency treatment, it is important to know how the facility recovers all this money. The fact is, if emergency rooms were to provide their services for free to all the people without insurance, they would be in a financial crisis. Therefore, many emergency rooms recover their money in three ways:

  1.    By charging the already insured

Patients who have health insurance usually get startled by the high bills charged by emergency rooms. Often, some of them think that the facility has erroneously stated the bill. What many people don’t know is that the high bill is meant to cater for a percentage of the payment that those that are unable to cater for a health insurance cover incur whenever they visit an emergency room. This is why, provided you are jobless, orphaned, aged, disabled or in any way hindered from paying for a health insurance cover you shouldn’t hesitate to visit an emergency room when the situation calls for since part of your bill has already been catered for by someone else.

  1.    By charging cash

A significant number of those that are uninsured have the ability to pay in cash. These include people with a really good income and those in average jobs. If you can afford to pay emergency room bills without breaking your bank balance, then you need not to worry about the astronomical bills that are often charged for these services. For many people, however, paying out of their pockets is a difficult task. The situation becomes frustrating for the healthcare providers, too, since though they are obligated by law to provide emergency care, they still need patients to pay their bills so that the emergency rooms can continue providing their services to other patients. You are better off getting an insurance cover if you have the means to do so to avoid becoming stranded by a huge hospital bill after getting emergency treatment.

  1.    By following up on the underprivileged patients

Before you get emergency treatment, the medical provider will first determine whether it is really necessary. Upon confirming the same, they will provide it to ensure your life is safe. In case the reason you are uninsured is because you are not able to do so owing to your financial situation, they will note your bill somewhere and follow up on whether you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. If you are qualified, the emergency room will take measures to have the bill settled. If you do not qualify, they will increase the amounts charged on those already insured. The last option is to write off the bills as bad debts.

What other options are available for the uninsured?

No one knows when the need for urgent medical attention may next arise. It pays to have as many options as possible. From visiting a walk-in clinic, a direct health provider, or having a regular primary care doctor, you should always have someone to call on for prompt medical attention when the situation calls for it. When visiting an emergency room is the only option you have, the best thing to do is be as sincere as possible about your financial situation. Health care providers are more understanding than you may think and may be willing to offer their services for much less than they usually do for your conditions. Sometimes, doctors may even be willing to waive the medical bill if you honestly cannot afford to pay. For residents of Houston, Bellaire ER Emergency Room offers unrivaled emergency care services at very affordable rates.

While getting emergency room services without health insurance is as easy as walking to ER facility, getting yourself health insurance will allow you enjoy lots of added benefits. Bills incurred after emergency treatment may be shockingly high, but with an insurer, the figures can be renegotiated to protect you from paying too highly. Moreover, Bellaire ER accepts insurance cards from a big number of insurance providers, which makes the process of acquiring quick medical care more hassle-free. However, should you find that you need prompt treatment but have no insurance, do not hesitate to walk into one of their offices in Houston.

 

Where is My Nearest Emergency Room?

Where is My Nearest Emergency Room?

If you just moved to Houston or have been a resident there for a while, it is common to wonder how to access emergency room services easily, should you need them. An emergency room could make the difference between whether you or a loved one gets much needed medical attention in the event they require it right away. From a domestic accident in the kitchen to a sudden stroke, an emergency room can come to your rescue and save your life or the life of a loved one.

Before we get specific about which emergency room can best suit you, it’s important to know what makes a good ER agency. The fact is if you are living in Houston, you will probably find you have a couple of options to choose from. So how do you know what is ideal for you and what’s not? Here’s a checklist:

Legal status

Most emergency rooms operate legally, but it wouldn’t hurt to confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate entity. A quick check whether the facility has licensed physicians and registered nurses can put you at ease and assure you that when an emergency arises, you are putting your life in the hands of a licensed agency with qualified medical practitioners.

Ease of access

You never know when an emergency will strike, so you want to be sure help is as near to you as possible. A good emergency room should be located somewhere near to both where you live and where you work so that should you require urgent medical care, you can get it within less than 20 minutes.

Their facilities

Your preferred emergency room should be sufficiently equipped to handle various health conditions that could require urgent treatment. Things to look for include whether they offer ambulatory services, if they have diverse and modern medical equipment, and the general state of their treatment rooms. Ask whether they are sufficiently equipped to handle more than one emergency situation at the same time in case that becomes necessary.

Flexibility in payment methods

Many emergency rooms accept only health insurances as the form of payment. Look for one that is flexible with their payment methods because you never know when you may need to pay for their services through something other than your health insurance.

Cost of services

Enquire about how much they charge to establish whether you can afford it. Some emergency rooms are incredibly expensive. The fact is the average cost of visiting an emergency room is about three times that of visiting other health providers. You don’t want to push up that price by choosing an expensive emergency room unless you are sure you can comfortably afford to pay.

Their reputation

One of the best ways to evaluate an emergency room is to look at what other customers are saying about them. Visit the emergency room’s website to read customers reviews about their services. Ask around about their customer service to find out whether they genuinely care about clients. Make a decision only when you are convinced you will be treated with genuine respect and care.

Now that you know some of the things to look for in a local emergency provider, may we suggest that you check out Bellaire ER? Many Houston residents have come to trust Bellaire ER as their emergency room of choice. Bellaire ER has been in operation for more than 15 years, providing excellent emergency care to patients both day and night every day of the year. Here is why you should try out their services:

They have state of the art facilities

Bellaire ER boasts to having some cutting-edge facilities, with a modern laboratory to ensure you receive accurate and quick test results. The facility also offers fast radiology tests. To better care for their patients, Bellaire offers such advanced services as cardiac life support, Pediatric emergency rooms, and EMS ambulance services.

They have a dedicated medical support

An emergency room should be able to respond to your call for medical attention any time of day or night. Bellaire ER has a team of highly dedicated experts eager to serve you when you need them. You can be assured of fast, convenient, and reliable service.

You will be served by professionals.

Bellaire Emergency Room is licensed by the State of Texas, so you can be sure you are dealing with a genuine facility. All of Bellaire’s physicians are experienced and fully licensed by the U.S. board, while the nurses are registered and possess extensive experience in critical and immediate care.

They have the capacity to handle a wide range of health conditions.

You want a healthcare provider you can stick with; one with the capacity to handle your varied health needs whether you are having an acute case of vomiting or are simply worried about something and need advice. Well, Bellaire has the appropriate facilities and professionals to help you out.

 

Bellaire ER’s reputation as a dependable emergency room for Houston residents has been established through their eagerness to provide only the highest quality services to their clients. You can become part of their numerous happy customers today.

 

When to go to emergency room for kidney stones

When to go to emergency room for kidney stones

At Bellaire ER educating our patients is part of the treatment. Making an appointment to see your doctor is not always the best option. Sometimes, the emergency room is the best place to get your problem checked out.

Understanding Kidney Stones

These are crystals that form because of substances within urine. When they coalesce, it usually tends to cause pain for the patient. Most kidney stones are quite small. When they form in the kidneys, they will usually travel done a tiny tube connecting the bladder to the kidney call the ureter.

They are usually tiny and inconsequential. However, they can sometimes grow so big that they fill the entire kidney. Kidney stones mostly affect men and women. However, children can be affected too, although it is quite rare. The kidney stones are most prevalent in southern states with a warmer climate.

How to tell if you have Kidney Stones

Kidney stones do not have any symptoms in most cases. The reason is that they are usually so small that they pass out of the body undetected. However, symptoms will appear if you have large kidney stones.

Large stones block the urine flow, which leads to serious symptoms. However, not all symptoms justify a hospital visit. Kidney pain does not always lead to blocked urine flow. At times, it can be lodged in a certain area of the kidneys, causing a lot of pain.

The major symptom that indicates you have kidney stones is feeling pain. In most cases, you will experience a sharp and intense pain on the back or side of the abdomen. The pain starts without warning and then grows slowly over time. With time, the pain can spread to the lower abdomen and the groin.

The pain could be undulating, or it could hit you in waves. Sometimes, it will last for a few minutes, disappear, and then appear again after about 10 minutes. Sometimes, the pain may linger but fluctuate in severity. The fluctuation in intensity occurs as the stone moves along the ureter.

If you notice that the pain appears to change in position, that is most likely a kidney stone. The pain starts in the back, moves slowly to the sides and then to the lower abdomen. It happens as the kidney stones move along the urinary tract.

Some people may confuse kidney pain with stiff muscles. If the pain is originating in the muscles, they intensity should change when you shift position. However, kidney stones pain does not fluctuate when you shift around.

The kidney stones may cause you to have nausea, blood in urine, vomiting, and fever. These symptoms occur because the stone restricts the movement of urine. As a result, there is an accumulation of waste products in the blood.

A good indication that they are kidney stones is the time during which they occur. Most people tend to urinate less often at night and early in the morning. Consequently, kidney stones will form during this time. If you begin to experience any of the above symptoms during those hours, there is a good chance they are kidney stones.

When to Visit the Emergency Room

If you suspect that you have a kidney stone attack, you do not always need to visit the emergency room. For instance, if your kidney stones are of low intensity, you should probably sleep it off. However, that is not always possible.

One reason you should visit an emergency room such as Bellaire ER is if the pain becomes intolerable. Sometimes, you may wake up with a blinding pain that renders you immobile. You may experience pain so sharp that it makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs.  In such a case, you should make a quick visit to the ER.

Another reason to go the emergency room is if the medication does not work. Your doctor may have given you medication that is meant to assist your body in breaking down the stones. However, if the pain persists despite taking the medication, you should rush to the ER.

Additionally, if you experience a fever that goes beyond 105.5 degrees, you should go to the ER. It is especially so if the fever persists. Additionally, if you notice excessive amounts of blood in your urine, get yourself to the ER.

Another justifiable reason for going to the ER is if you experience persistent vomiting and nausea. It is especially important to rush to the ER when these symptoms are accompanied by smelly urine.

What Happens at the ER

A doctor will make a diagnosis using modern equipment and provide the proper treatment options. There are various options offered for the treatment of kidney stones. One of these options entails allowing the stone to pass out of the body.

Additionally, the doctor may recommend surgery to get rid of the stone. The decision is usually based on the size of the stone. If it is less than 5 mm, it should pass out of the body without any major issues. Kids larger than 5mm will require surgery.

 

When to Go To Emergency Room for Blood Pressure

15 Feb 2017 Uncategorized

When to Go To Emergency Room for Blood Pressure

Most people who have high blood pressure will not experience any symptoms. However, as the blood pressure continues to rise, you may feel dizzy, weak, unwell, a headache, or lightheaded. In most cases, it is seldom necessary to make a visit to an ER such as Bellaire ER if you see a spike.

Your body is quite resilient in dealing with short term spikes. A good number of people believe that if the blood pressure reading is high on a routine check, they need to rush to the emergency room.  However, this has been refuted by numerous studies in recent years.

A recent study that focused on 60,000 patients with elevated blood pressure found that only about one percent required a visit to the ER. The rest could get treatment during a routine visit to the doctor and go back home by themselves. During the study, it was found that these patients were not under any added risk because of failure to visit the ER.

The study has received numerous accolades by medical practitioners. A spike in blood pressure can be quite alarming for most people with hypertension. The study found that if hypertension that does not have any symptoms can be safely handled in an outpatient setting

However, the researchers did note that elevated blood pressure can lead to organ damage. Thus, doctors should be concerned about extreme spikes in blood pressure, even for short periods. However, they still argued that sending a patient to the ER was not the best remedy for the problem.

The outcome of the study was that except for a minority of people; about one percent, the rest could go home and would experience similar heart problems rates as those who visited the ER. It was also interesting to note that the study found that patients who went home would have lower odds of hospital admission than those who visited the ER.

One major reason to seek treatment for hypertension outside the ER is that it can be cost effective. The research found that ER visits usually resulted in increased use of health resources with no better outcomes.

When it is necessary

The body is quite resilient. It can handle any temporary bouts of blood pressure spikes efficiently. A good analogy would be a car that you wanted to last for many years. If the car were left out in the rain all the time, it would rust. However, being rained on one day will not make it obsolete since it has been built to withstand the rain.

Thus, a visit to the ER is only justified if the spike lasts for too long. For instance, if after the routine visit the symptoms seem to get worse, you should consider a visit to the emergency room.

If you have symptoms similar to those of a heart attack, you should rush to an emergency room. Heart attack symptoms include sweating, short breath, nausea, vomiting, pressure, pain or a strange feeling in the back, jaw, neck, or upper belly or in one or both arms or shoulders.

Additionally, if you feel light-headed, fast, irregular heartbeats even when at rest, sudden weakness and a loss of focus in your vision, you should go to the ER. If possible, you should call for an ambulance as you may get an attack on your way to the hospital.

If you see the symptoms of a stroke and you have hypertension, you should make a visit to the hospital .these symptoms include sudden slurred speech or extreme stammering, trouble understanding simple statements, sudden onset of walking imbalance, a sudden change in vision, and severe back and belly pain.

If these symptoms appear, the blood pressure may not go down on its own. You will need to make a visit to the ER. Ensure that the person who attends to you get to hear about all the symptoms that you have. It will help him or her to determine if your case is urgent.

Another reason to go to the ER for blood pressure spikes is if you are frail. For instance, the elderly should always go to the hospital for sudden spikes. Besides that, if you are recovering from a stroke, a spike in blood pressure could be quite dangerous.

If you have an elderly person or someone with a serious ailment, their blood pressure needs to be often monitored. Any symptom that they have could be fatal if it is ignored.

When you experience anything out of the ordinary in terms of your blood pressure, you should always make a call to your doctor. He or she will help you to determine if the situation is serious. Besides that, you can go to the clinic at the place where you work.

The person at your workplace clinic has the equipment to make a diagnosis of whether an ER visit is needed. Additionally, he or she can help you with first aid in case of anything. If you suffer from hypertension, you should consider asking your doctor what lifestyle changes you can make. It can help to lower your risk of getting serious blood pressure spikes.

 

Instances When A Visit to the Emergency Room Might Be Necessary

15 Feb 2017 Uncategorized

Instances When A Visit to the Emergency Room Might Be Necessary

While a trip to the emergency room is nowhere near the top of anyone’s wish lists, there are situations when this may be the only way to give you the urgent medical attention you or your loved one requires. The reason most people would rather avoid the emergency room is that they have a preconceived gruesome image of the room. They think of blood and surgeons cutting and stitching people in dire medical situations, just like it happens in the movies. While numerous surgical operations do happen in emergency rooms, you will be surprised how many patients get treated for seemingly ordinary but potentially life-threatening situations. Some instances of pain, ache or injuries may not be cause for urgent concerns, but when you are hit by a worrying intensity of any of the following cases, it is advisable to visit the emergency room such as Bellaire ER right away.

Syncope

Syncope refers to the drop of the amount of blood in your brain leading to unconsciousness. This condition can lead to serious problems, for instance, accidents could occur if it happens when you are engaged in an activity. Seek emergency services immediately in case you start experiencing this problem.

Chest pains

Pain in the chest is not an illness, but it signifies that you may have a serious underlying health condition. When you start to experience chest pains, visit the nearest emergency room right away to have the problem sorted out.

Abdominal pain

Persistent abdominal pain may be an indication that you have one of the several severe underlying conditions, including liver injuries, food poisoning, or kidney stones. Immediately you start experiencing abdominal pain, do not hesitate to call an emergency services provider in your locality for immediate diagnosis.

Toothaches

A toothache can cause incredible discomfort and lead to loss of sleep, appetite and earache. A dentist may not provide the urgent solution to relieve the pain. A visit to emergency room thus becomes the most viable option.

Broken body parts

A broken leg or hand should be urgently attended to prevent further complications on the injury. Incidentally, broken limbs are some of the most common cases why people seek urgent medical attention in America. This type of injury often leads to severe pain, requiring you to visit the emergency room right away.

Earache

If you have ever experienced pain in one or both of your ears, you know the serious agony they can bring. An infection in your trachea can cause an earache. Sometimes an injury in the ear may be the cause of the problem. By visiting the emergency room, you can have the ear treated. Any oozing from your ear, or a swelling, should also prompt urgent medical attention which may be provided in the emergency room.

Sprains

A sprain may cause incredible pain, not to mention persistent discomfort unless it is immediately attended to. Visit the emergency room quickly whenever you tear a ligament to have the problem addressed.

Flu

Some cases of flu may be so serious that you need to seek urgent medical attention. In such cases, it is advisable to seek help by visiting an emergency room.

Cut wounds

Whether resulting from everyday activities like kitchen accidents, from operating machinery at work, cuts may be very serious and require urgent medical care. Some deep cuts may lead to serious bleeding and potentially become life threatening. Additionally, open wounds may become quickly infected and lead to extremely serious complications. Always call an emergency room after you feel that the cut wound you have needs quick attention.

Head trauma

Cases of head trauma require prompt medical attention for the doctor to examine whether there may be internal bleeding, which could be life threatening. Injuries cause most cases of head trauma, and a visit to the emergency room is advisable.

Breathing problems

Any case of breathing difficulty needs urgent medical care. Lack of enough oxygen can lead to suffocation. Therefore, call an emergency room as soon as you realize you are gasping for air.

Headaches

While headaches are a common problem for many people, they require swift attention when they become acute or persistent. A headache is a signal of an underlying health problem. Thus, you need to visit a doctor soon to have the diagnosis done to establish what condition you might have.

Vomiting

Continuous vomiting can prove to be very serious unless it is treated as soon as possible. Usually, it is caused by nausea, food poisoning, or stomach upsets. Visit an emergency room as soon as the problem becomes persistent.

Fever

Any fever is an indication that you have an illness in your body. A visit to the emergency room can help you get the quick medical care you require before the problem escalates.

Every day, numerous patients in need of medical attention seek immediate help in emergency rooms around the country. Knowing a reliable emergency room around you can help to get timely assistance when you need it the most. For many years, Bellaire ER has offered friendly, affordable, and top quality emergency room services. Visit any Bellaire ER service near you to find out the wide array of services on offer for you.

 

How Emergency Room Visits are Billed

15 Feb 2017 Uncategorized

How Emergency Room Visits are Billed

The charges of emergency room services may seem incredibly high, even for simple operations. If you are living in America, the charges may even seem more exaggerated, as it is estimated that emergency rooms in America charge an average of three times higher than emergency rooms from other developed nations around the world. Emergency room bills are usually sent to the patients weeks later after treatment, which makes many patients feel that their bills may have been wrongly quoted. However, understanding how the emergency rooms are billed can help remove much of the confusion that many patients go through.

Patients who visit emergency rooms are required to fill out certain forms that provide the information about their health insurance details, and how they expect to fund the bills. Usually, your card is filed together with the forms that you had filled out before, and then the charges are billed from your insurance. Most times, the bill given is higher than what you would have paid had you been treated at a regular hospital. Here are few reasons why the total may appear so high:

To cover for the uninsured patients

Did you know that you would still receive emergency treatment even if you did not have an insurance cover? All people in the United States are entitled to receive emergency medical care regardless of whether they have insurance cover or not. There are several reasons why one may not be insured. For instance, many people are underprivileged, thus cannot afford a health insurance to cover for their emergency room benefits. Hospitals, therefore, set up high gross charges to those who already have insurance covers to cater for the expenses of those who cannot afford to pay. This is why your emergency cover charges may appear higher than what you had expected.

To give room for bargaining with the insurer

You emergency room bills may appear incredibly high, but did you know that your health insurer usually ends up paying much less than the amount quoted on your bill? You may not have known this, but insurers are adept at contract negotiation. The emergency room agency thus sets up a higher price to give room for bargaining with the insurer and end up with a sum that covers for your actual medical bills. Moreover, remember from that out of the final amount that the insurer is willing to pay, depending on the agreement you have with your health insurer, you will still repay a certain amount back to them. Therefore, your hospital must set an amount on your bill that gives room not just for negotiation with your insurer, but also for the further deduction that will be repaid to the insurance company.

You pay for every single charge provided by the emergency room

Depending on the medical care you receive, your bill may seem unexpectedly high. Emergency rooms charge for every single service that they offer, even for those seemingly minor services such as an MRI scan. Each department in the hospital whose services you use gives a separate quotation that you will be expected to pay. These different quotations are then totaled to come up with a final amount. Many emergency room agencies have many different departments that operate as separate legal entities with different managements, which may contribute to the large bill you see at the end. Some agencies like Bellaire ER, however, have very few departments. Thus your bills are relatively likely to be lower compared to other emergency rooms.

The severity of condition determines how much you will be required to pay

Emergency rooms do not just charge for every service they offer, but also attach an amount equivalent to the severity of your condition. Depending on how complicated your treatment will be, your bill will vary. Emergency rooms have varying levels of care with the first level catering for simple conditions such as toothaches and the complexity of treatment going up the ladder. Simple medical procedures attract relatively lower bills while those on the highest level of care attract significantly higher charges.

The emergency room you chose matters

Different emergency room agencies charge differently for their services. Attending an expensive emergency room will attract higher bills, while an affordable emergency room such as Bellaire ER provides the highest quality urgent medical care at customer friendly rates. Their emergency rooms are equipped with the latest equipment while their staff has immense experience in attending patients with urgent medical needs. Moreover, Bellaire accept health insurance cards from a wide variety of insurance companies in the United States, which makes it very convenient for patients living there.

Virtually everyone in the United States with a health insurance cover is eligible for emergency room services from a provider of their choice. All American health insurers provide this critical benefit to its customers. Therefore, it is your right to acquire health care benefits at any time you or your loved one are hit by any of the wide variety of health conditions that may warrant urgent health care. If you are a resident of Houston, walk into any one of the Bellaire Emergency Room providers to sample the different services on offer for you.

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