Why so many emergency rooms?

If you have been keen enough in the past few years, I am sure you have realized that there are urgent care clinics and stand-alone emergency centres are popping up literally everywhere. In every corner I am sure there is some form of clinic or medical center offering some form of medical care. This is a change for an industry which for years operated in far-flung hospital and emergency offices. Gone are the days when a single medical facility served the entire neighbourhood. Nowadays, there are more than five medical facilities in a single street and this begs the question of why so many emergency rooms?

In the past year or so, the number of emergency rooms in America has doubled according to the data provided by the American Hospital Association and other state health agencies. We sought the counsel of a professional physician from Bellaire Emergency Room to understand why the emergency rooms are mushrooming everywhere. We wanted to know why the emergency rooms are so many nowadays and to know if the emergency rooms are actually receiving enough patients. Here are some of the reasons he gave for the rapid mushrooming of emergency rooms in America;

The demand for convenient medical services is very high

The key reason why there has been a rapid influx in the number of emergency rooms across the country, is the increased demand for convenient emergency medical services. People want medical services to be brought closer to them and they are more than willing to take advantage of the services that have been moved closer to them.

Cheaper services

With most patients paying for a greater percentage of their health care, and insurance companies pressuring medical providers to hold down their prices, the big push is convenience and affordable treatments. This is exactly what one gets from a medical emergency room. Patients have responded. Visits to emergency rooms are up an estimated 39 percent between 2010 and 2017, to nearly 220 million visits, according to studies by a national consulting firm. Patients want speedier and more affordable services that are closer to them. This explains the drastic decline in the number of people visiting the traditional medical facilities and the sudden upsurge in those opting for medical emergency rooms. To quench this thirst for cheaper services, medical providers are seizing the opportunity and expanding their businesses by increasing the number of emergency rooms.

People hate long queues

One of the other things that has contributed greatly to the increase in the number of emergency rooms in America, is the hate people have for waiting in line to receive medical attention. People want speedy quality services which are only a stone throw away. This is why they relish the idea of new emergency rooms opening up in their neighbourhoods. The medical providers are always on hand to expand their businesses once they sense an opportunity.

Increase in medical emergencies

Thanks to the modern lifestyles and general decline in health standards, there has been an increase in the number of reported illnesses and emergencies. Lifestyle related diseases and complications such diabetes, obesity, heart diseases and many others are on the rise. This means that the demand for emergency medical is very high. The few available service providers cannot comfortably handle the number of patients flocking their facilities and this calls for more emergency facilities to be built.

People hate unnecessary hospital admissions

The other reason why people flock emergency rooms and avoid traditional hospitals, is the fact they hate unnecessary admissions which end up interrupting with their schedules. Sometimes hospitals will admit patients not because it was necessary but because they need more time to administer the required medication. This can be inconveniencing to people especially those who are in the working class and need every minute of their time. Such people will therefore prefer to go to an emergency room rather than a hospital because emergency rooms hardly admit patients-unless it is a critical condition. The increased number of people to these emergency rooms is then interpreted as increased demand by the medical service providers and they will look to increase their businesses further.

Emergency rooms are profitable

This industry is booming and the profits obviously for the owners and service providers are very high. This is why they are looking to further their businesses. The preference that Americans have for emergency rooms over traditional hospitals has culminated into millions of dollars in profits every year. This has attracted even more investors into this industry. These people are also looking to get in on the act and rake in millions by providing medical emergency services.

Generally, we should not be bothered by an increase in the number of emergency rooms in our country because that is a great sign. There are other countries where people are travelling thousands of miles just to access a medical facility and we should therefore be grateful that the services are only a stone throw away here in the US.

Why emergency rooms make you wait?

26 May 2017 Uncategorized

Despite an increase in the number of emergency rooms across the country, there still is overcrowding in medical emergency rooms in America. It is rare to find an emergency room in America empty. If anything, the average waiting time in emergency rooms has only become worse. People are waiting in emergency rooms for as long as two hours before they can see a physician. This is a worrying trend which needs to be addressed.

Unless you have endured the agony of waiting in line to receive emergency services, you will never quite understand how inconveniencing it is. If you have endured the pain, I am sure you were asking yourself why they made you wait for that long in line before serving you. Is it that your medical condition is not as serious? Are the emergency room staff members incompetent and negligent? Why do emergency rooms make you wait?

Well, there are a number of reasons why emergency rooms make you wait to receive medical care in their offices. Some of the reasons are out of the control of the physicians while some are manageable. Here are the top 5 reasons why emergency rooms make you wait;

Your medical condition

Emergency departments are places that have throngs of people coming in by ambulance, by private cars, on foot, and, in some cases, by helicopter. These people have all kinds of problems with all levels of severity. The severity of your medical condition will therefore have an effect on the priority you will get from the doctors in the emergency room. Using triage, the doctors are able to assign priorities to medical emergencies depending on the urgency of the condition. In America, priority is given to more serious and life threatening conditions like trauma and heart attacks. When people are in such conditions, the facility always strives to ensure that they attend to them first before they can think about the other conditions like headaches and sneezing. This does not mean that the other ailments are not treated with seriousness, no, every patient has a right to be treated but following triage, you will have to bear with a little waiting in line if your condition is not as severe. This is actually one of the reasons why the emergency rooms make you to wait in line before you can see a physician.

The hour you choose to visit the facility

The hour you choose to go to the emergency room will also play a very vital role in determining whether you will receive a speedy service or will have to wait in line. The best hours to visit an emergency room for far less urgent medical conditions according to a recent study, are between 6 am and noon. During these hours, most hospitals don’t have as many patients waiting in line and you are guaranteed to get quality medical care. During these morning hours, the average waiting time is close to 30 minutes. The worst hours to visit the ER are from 2 pm to midnight. These are the times that most emergency rooms receive the highest number of visitors and you will therefore have to wait a little longer in line before you can be attended to. Sometimes, the emergency rooms are so full that you have to wait for close to an hour before you can be attended to. After weekends and public holidays especially, people flock the emergency rooms with headaches and results of too much fun and partying.

Insufficient physicians

The other thing that will affect the amount of time that you will have to wait before receiving medical attention in an emergency room, is the ratio of medical practitioners to the number of patients. In most emergency rooms, the number of patients overwhelms the number of doctors. This means that the patients have to wait for longer before seeing the doctor.

The nature of facilities available

The other factor that will affect the amount of time required before you can receive the required treatment, is the nature of the available facilities and resources in the emergency room. The availability of resources and facilities or lack thereof will have a direct impact not just on the amount of time taken for you to receive a service but the nature of service you are bound to receive. This is why you need to opt for a well-equipped facility at all times to increase your chances of receiving quality urgent medical care always.

Having said this, it is important to note that Bellaire Emergency Room has more than sufficient numbers of doctors and medical practitioners to warrant a quick and quality medical service delivery. Our doctors are ever present at work and will attend to you in the shortest time possible. This is why the average waiting time in line for our emergency room is always below twenty minutes.

how many emergency rooms are in houston?

There has been a tremendous increase in the number of emergency rooms in Houston recently I am sure you have realized that there is almost an emergency room in every street. This is trend that is not just being observed in Houston but then entire country. Today, we want to examine the emergency room department in Houston in depth and provide a detailed look into the numbers behind the emergency rooms. But first, how many emergency rooms are in Houston?

How many emergency rooms are in Houston?

As of 2013 there were 40 documented emergency rooms in Houston according to the American Hospital Association. The emergency rooms included 10 stand-alone emergency rooms and 30 hospital emergency rooms. Since then, the number has tremendously risen and today, the number is estimated to be at about 70 when you consider the larger Houston area. This is just an approximation based on the available facts and the emergency rooms may be more or less by a margin of 2-5.

Now that we know the approximation, we want to take a deeper looker at the numbers that matter. We want to look at the total number of emergency department visits, and the percentages of the specific demographic that visited the emergency rooms. Here are the relevant numbers concerning emergency rooms in Houston;

Total ED Visits in Houston in 2015

During 2015, 1,619,554 ED visits were made to the 36 emergency rooms available in Houston. Of this total, 97.3% of visits were made by residents of the eight county area, and 82.7% were made by Harris County residents alone.
The number of emergency visits made in Houston that year, represented 68% of all ED visits reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services by all hospitals and emergency rooms in 2015

2. Primary Care Related emergency room Visits

Four in ten (39.7%) emergency room visits made to emergency rooms in Houston by the residents were Primary Care Related in 2015. This includes non-urgent, primary care treatable, and primary care preventable visits. These are people who need health care a basic rather than specialized level. Some of the reported illnesses here include colds, flus, back pains, fever, headaches and many other non-urgent conditions.

3. Emergency room Visits by Month, Day, and Time

The number of emergency room visits by Houston residents fluctuated very little on a monthly basis, with the fewest visits made in the month of June and July. The percentage of emergency room visits that led to hospitalizations was also relatively constant over the year. The peak day of the week for emergency room visits was Thursday. The percentage of emergency room visits leading to hospitalizations remained relatively level each day. Emergency room visits by children peaked at 8 PM, with a secondary peak at 11 AM-12 PM. Visits by adults age 18 to 64 peaked from 10 AM to 12 PM. Emergency room visits by adults age 65 and over peaked from 10 AM to 12 PM, then dropped during the rest of the day. Relatively few visits by children resulted in a hospitalization, in contrast to adults age 65 and over. This speaks volumes about the hours when

4. ED Visits by Patient Characteristics

Insurance: The uninsured accounted for 32.2% of PCRED visits and 26.5% of non-PCRED visits. Medicaid covered individuals made up 28.9% of PCRED visits and 21.1% of non-PCRED visits.

Race: Two thirds (66.9%) PCRED visits were by persons who were
Black or Hispanic, but only 55.5% of non-PCRED visits were by persons who were Black or Hispanic. By contrast, persons who were White accounted for 23.8% of PCRED visits and 31.7% of non-PCRED visits

Age: Children age 17 and under made up more than one third (34.5%) of all visits, and just over one fourth (26.0%) of non-PCRED visits. Adults age 65 and over were almost twice as likely to have a non-PCRED visit (16.1%) than a PCRED visit (8.3%). Three in ten (30.2%) ED visits by adults age 65 and older resulted in a hospitalization

Gender: Almost six in ten (59.3%) PCRED visits were by females and 40.7% by males. Of the total non-PCRED visits, 54.6% were by females and 45.4% by males. The percentage of ED visits resulting in a hospitalization was only slightly higher among males (13.6%) than females (13.4%).

Projection
There is a projection that by 2020 the number of emergency visits in Houston will hit the 2.5 million mark. This is attributed to the fact that more emergency rooms are coming up in the area. The locals are also starting to embrace the thought of receiving medical attention from emergency rooms. The cost of services is expected to come down as well because the competition for the available patients is expected to go high. The future of the medical industry surely looks bright if the numbers are anything to go by.

How emergency rooms treat panic attacks?

Close to 15% of the 140 million visits to emergency rooms in 2016 were all cases of panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden surges of overwhelming fear and anxiety which get the better of the patients and make them feel like they are on the brink of death. In that moment, one feels overwhelmed by a cloud of anxiety and stress and the heart races like it is just about to stop. To some people, the conditions are so severe that they experience difficulties with breathing. Some people are dumbfounded in that moment and can’t even move an inch. Sweating and shivering kicks in and if proper medication is not administered, the condition gets worse. Today, we want to look at how these panic attacks/disorders are diagnosed, their cause, their treatment in emergency rooms and ways in which one can remain calm and relaxed in case of a panic attack.

Causes of panic attacks

Panic attacks are brought about by situations and incidents where one feels endangered or unable to escape. To some people however, panic attacks can result from just thought and too much thinking about certain problems they are facing in life. The idea of something bad happening to you in the near future triggers responses from your body. These responses are different in people and although some are able to remain calm and relaxed, others lose it and are overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. Some people experience recurrent panic attacks every time they are faced with specific situations or are supposed to carry out a certain activity like visit a dentist for example. Prolonged panic lead to the development of panic disorders which are more dangerous.

Signs and symptoms of panic attacks

As we earlier on mentioned, the signs and symptoms of panic attacks vary from one person to another. The intensity of the signs and symptoms is determined by the sort of response that the victim’s body gives when faced by certain situations. The most common symptoms of panic attacks include increased heart beats where the heart palpitates, chest pains, shivering, a weird choking feeling, a feeling of being detached from the surroundings, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, feeling light-headed and numbness. Some people will even pass stool or urinate on themselves during panic attacks because they are extremely shocked and lose it. Other people will have relatively mild symptoms. Such will only experience racing hearts and perhaps profuse sweating. The latter are able to cope with panic attacks more than those who have relatively extreme symptoms. If someone experiences panic attacks repeatedly then there is the possibility of panic disorder. If you are also worried about having another panic attack, then you need to report panic disorder to the nearest emergency room.

Diagnosis and treatment of panic attacks

There are three main treatment options available in emergency rooms for panic attacks. These are cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy and medication treatment. In cognitive behavioural therapy, the thinking patterns and behaviours that trigger the panic attacks are addressed. The consequences of the situations are reviewed and the patient is made to believe that nothing disastrous will happen in the end and its just about fear. The moment the patient feels comfortable in these situations, they will be able to remain calm and relaxed if they are faced with similar situations in the future.

Exposure therapy

Here, the patient is exposed to the physical sensations of panic but in a controlled environment enabling your body to cope with the conditions and learn to respond in a better way. You will be asked to take part in exercises which trigger similar sensations as those you experienced during a panic attack. With each passing exercise, you become used to the sensations and get a sense of control over the overwhelming fear and anxiety. In case of a panic attack therefore, you will be able to remain calm and see the problem through without much worry.

Medication treatment

In medication treatment, certain drugs are used to resolve the problem. This method is resolved to when the symptoms are severe and the patient is in danger. Some of the most common drugs used to treat panic attacks and disorders include antidepressants and benzodiazepines. These are anti-anxiety drugs whose effects kicks in within minutes and help relieve the pain and other attack symptoms. The only shortcoming of such drugs is the fact that they can be addictive and can have some extreme withdrawal symptoms. For better results, these drugs are limitedly used in conjunction with the other two available treatment options to help panic attack victims.

Self-help tips

Sometimes, you don’t need to see a physician when you have a panic attack. Learn how to control your emotions and practice self-relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation and you will be able to cope with attacks better.

How emergency rooms treat migraines?

I am sure that at one point in your life, you have a throbbing headache which is almost blinding. These painful headaches are referred to as migraines and they are leading causes of emergency room visits in America. Actually, severe headaches and migraines affect more than 13% of all the Americans. This goes to show that it is a very common problem in the country. Actually the prevalence of migraines in the country is very high. They are the leading causes of outpatient and emergency room visits particularly among women in their reproductive years. We want to take a quick look at the causes of these migraines, their symptoms, their diagnosis, treatment and when to go to the emergency room because of migraines.

What are migraines?

These are forms of debilitating headaches which are caused by abnormal brain activity and cause an alteration in the way nerve signals reception. They cause changes in hormone release and blood flow in the brain. They are very strong impounding headaches and are typically felt on one side of the head or just above the eyes.

Causes and triggers of migraines

There are very many causes of these blinding headaches and some people are lucky enough to be able to identify the things that trigger the migraines in their lives while others can’t pin point the things that trigger the headaches. I personally am one of the many people whose migraines are triggered by flashing bright lights and lights from computer screens. This means that any time I encounter these bright lights without proper eye protection, I start experiencing headaches and nausea. This is different for some people though. Here are some of the top causes of migraines and blistering headaches in America;

Allergies to certain scents and smells of perfumes and sprays. The moment the body senses these scents, migraine kicks in.
Bright lights, flashing lights, flickering lights, lights from computer screens, light from welding torches and even car light from car headlamps in the dark. These lights trigger what is popularly referred to as ocular migraine as the pain will mainly be felt in the eyes!
Physical and emotional stress, tension, anxiety, depression and even excessive excitement has been found to cause these migraines. When one thinks too much about certain things, then it takes a toll on them and hormonal activity and change in brain activity leads to the migraines kicking in.
Tiredness, fatigue, jet lag, lack of sleep, hunger, dehydration and fasting have also been found to cause migraines within the US.
Some drugs such as alcohol and tobacco have also been found to cause some forms of migraine in some people.
Some foods containing tyramine such as red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs and salami are also key suspects in triggering migraines.
Some medication tablets and drugs such as sleeping tablets, contraceptives and any other form of drug that interrupts the body’s hormone cycle, can cause migraines as well.

Signs and symptoms of migraines

The symptoms of migraines might either precede the migraines or come in as afters. Although the migraine signs and symptoms are different in people, here are the most common signs and symptoms of migraines;

Severe pain- Almost all the migraines I know about, are characterized by moderate to severe headache. The headaches normally tend to be confined to one side of the head but some cover the entire head. The pain is normally throbbing and coincides with the heartbeat. This means that every time your heart beats, you can feel the throbbing pain in your head. It comes in almost regular pulses.

2. Fatigue- The other symptom associated with migraines is fatigue and general feeling of sickness. You feel physically weak and can’t do the normal physical activities which you can easily carry out when you are not sick.

3. Sensitivity to light and sound-The other thing that is associated with migraines is the increased sensitivity to light and sound around you. All you want is to be in a dark room which is quiet and has very few distractions. You actually feel relieved when you keep your eyes closed.

4. Nausea and vomiting- There is a feeling of nausea as well when you are suffering from a migraine. You feel like vomiting and it can be accompanied with diarrhoea.

Treatment of migraine by emergency rooms

The treatment of migraine really varies. People respond different to the available treatments. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and other analgesics are used to eliminate the headaches. Painkiller should also be taken early before the severe headache kicks. Anti-emetics and antidepressants are also prescribed to reduce the symptoms.

How to prevent migraine development

If you know the main causes and triggers of your migraines, then you need to avoid them at all costs. Avoid the scents and sights that trigger your migraines. Get enough sleep and rest as well and always take things easy.

How emergency rooms treat kidney stones

I was recently going through some emergency room statistics in America and something caught my eye. Over the past 5 or so years, there has been a disease which has seen an increase in the number of reported cases in emergency rooms across America. This is none other than the relatively unknown kidney stones. Kidney complications have been somewhat rare in the past but as the years are rolling on, seems these kidney complications and kidney stones to be a little specific are becoming more and more prevalent in America.

So, what are these kidney stones? What is the cause of the kidney stones? What are some of the signs and symptoms of kidney stones? When should you go to an emergency room because of kidney stones? How do emergency rooms treat the kidney stones? How can one stay clear of kidney stones?

Kidney stones and its causes

As we all know, the kidney is the body’s filter and it helps filter out unwanted substances and concentrations from blood. This is creates urine and other waste substances which would otherwise cause harm to the body. Kidney stones start developing in the body when there is a change in the concentration of salts and minerals in the body. The change in concentration of these minerals and salts is caused by dehydration and lack of enough water in the body. A kidney stone is a solid mass conglomeration of tiny crystals made up of minerals such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid. Besides lack of enough water, people who are overweight or obese are at a very big risk of suffering from these kidney stones because of the reduced metabolism in their bodies. Some forms of kidney stones are believed to be hereditary and can be passed down the family line.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of the kidney stones?

Kidney stones often don’t have signs and symptoms which we can say are identifiable right away. It the early stages of the disease, kidney stones are relatively painless but will have some sporadic jabs of pain which are intermittent. Once the stones accumulate and become big enough though, there is pain in the upper right abdomen accompanied by back pains. Others report cases of nausea and vomiting before the severe pain sets in. The pain results from the kidney stones becoming too large and beginning to scour the inside of the ureter. They stretch and irritate the inside of the ureter blocking proper passage of urine and this can be excruciatingly painful.

When should one go to the emergency room for kidney stones?

Well, you should always be on the lookout for the above mentioned signs and symptoms. Especially if you have been experiencing frequent pains in the abdomen area accompanied by severe back pains, then you need to visit the emergency room for proper diagnosis and treatment. Back pains and pains in the abdomen area are normally indicative of more than one disease and it can therefore be very difficult to tell what exactly is bothering you without proper diagnosing. Trying to live through the pain can be very dangerous. The bigger the stones get, the more dangerous they become. If you let the stones become too big, they will completely block the passage of urine causing intoxication by the chemical wastes contained in urine. This can be fatal. You therefore need to call the emergency room closest to you as soon as you feel pain in the back and abdomen area.

How are kidney stones diagnosed and treated?

Kidneys are diagnosed in emergency rooms using imaging tests such as CT scans and ultrasounds of the urinary tract and the kidneys of the patient. The physician is able to see the availability and size of kidney stones through the images on the monitor. Sometimes, the physician will need to take urine and blood samples to further ascertain the availability of the kidney stones. You medical record and history of kidney stones in your family also play a vital role in the diagnosis.

For treatment, the physicians aims at disintegrating the stones into small particles which can be passed out in urine. This can be achieved through extracorporeal shockwaves where waves are used to break the kidney stones into tiny bits which can be passed out through urine. Sometimes doctors offer simple medication and pain killers and soon the pain goes away on its own and the kidney stones disintegrate on their own.

How does one stay clear of kidney stones?

Well, if you haven’t suffered from kidney stones and want to stay clear of the menacing problem, then you will need to drink plenty of clean drinking water. Fresh water helps in balancing the concentration of the minerals and this is helpful during homeostasis as all the minerals are absorbed and reabsorbed back to the body or released in form of urine. If you are overweight, you need to cut down the weight as well to increase the metabolism in your body. This way, you will stay clear of the kidney stones and avoid unnecessary visits to the doctor.

How emergency rooms treat asthma attacks?

Asthma is a chronic condition where the trachea and other airways that are charged with carrying air into and out of the lungs are narrowed and in some cases inflamed. Such inflamed airways become more sensitive to changes in temperature and react to certain particles and elements in the environment. The things that the airways are sensitive to are referred to as triggers and every time the airways interact with these triggers, they tend to narrow, swell and produce lots of mucus. These are meant to prevent the passage of these triggers into the lungs as the body perceives them to be dangerous. The results of the swelling and excessive mucus production are difficulties in breathing. This is why people who are asthmatic tend to gasp for air and complain about difficulties in breathing when they come into contact with the triggers.

Asthma attacks are among the leading causes of emergency room visits in America. They account for more than 15% of all the emergency room visits in America. The beauty of these attacks though is the fact that they are treated in just minutes and the patients are released. Today we want to take a look at how emergency rooms treat asthma attacks in America but first, let’s take a quick look at the causes of asthma attacks, signs and symptoms and things that should prompt you to visit an emergency room for asthma attacks.

Causes and triggers of asthma attacks

The real cause of asthma attacks is not known. The exact element or chemical that triggers the series of reactions from the body is not known but is believed to be a combination of genetic and certain environmental factors. The susceptibility to asthma attacks is also thought to be hereditary and will be passed down generations. Such people generally don’t have the best immunities and will easily be attacked by other viral infections. The common causes that trigger asthma attacks are pretty universal. These include tobacco smoke, dust mites, pollen, cold air, some foods and even air pollution. Some people are affected by only a couple of these triggers while others are affected by all of them.

Asthma signs and symptoms

The symptoms, just like the triggers, are relatively conventional. When someone interacts with the triggers, the inflamed airways react with them casing asthma attacks. The following are some of the most common symptoms of asthma attacks;

Increased coughing activity
Chest tightness
Wheezing- this is a whistling sound in the chest when someone is breathing.
Difficulties in breathing
Shortness of breath

Some people will experience just mild versions of these symptoms while others will experience severe symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms go away in a few minutes while others persist and can last for upto two hours. The latter are dangerous especially prolonged difficulties in breathing. They can cause lung complications and sometimes can lead to asphyxiation. You therefore need to visit the nearest emergency room every time you start experiencing these symptoms and your inhaler isn’t helping to calm the situation. Trying to live through the complications can result in more problems and we have already seen, can lead to death.

Diagnosis and treatment of asthma attacks in emergency rooms

Asthma manifests itself in different ways in different individuals as we have seen from the various signs and symptoms of the disease. Some people will take years to discover that they are asthmatic because the signs and symptoms of their asthma are very mild and don’t cause much trouble. Others will right away discover that they clearly have a problem when they experience their first attack because it will hit them with such an intensity that they can’t bear with it. In emergency rooms, a physician will ask you a series of questions and till then perform a lung function test popularly referred to as spirometry to see is there exists a problem in your respiratory system. This is done by measuring the amount of air people are able to blow out of their lungs and their breathing rates. In case the tests are positive, then treatment is initiated.

The first thing that has to be noted, is the fact that there is no known cure or vaccine for asthma. The best a physician in an emergency room can do therefore, is to help you manage the condition and help suppress the severe symptoms through medication. In an emergency room, you will be advised to buy an inhaler and try as much as possible to avoid the triggers that bring about the symptoms in your life. There are certain prescriptions which physicians offer sometimes which are aimed at preventing the symptoms of asthma attacks and are supposed to be taken daily. These include corticosteroids and omalizumab. These are taken to make airways less sensitive to the triggers and open the airways in case of an attack.

How emergency rooms charge?

26 May 2017 New Treatments, Quote

Every time you walk to an emergency room, you are required to complete very long forms providing information about your health insurance and funding means. A copy of your insurance card is then filed together with the filed form before treatment begins. Do you know what happens afterwards though?

There is a common misconception that emergency rooms services come at a higher cost that those offered in traditional hospital facilities. This however, is far from the truth because the services are offered at an almost or even lower rate when you factor other charges which are levied in hospitals but are non-existent in emergency rooms. The reason why most people often complain about the cost of emergency rooms, is the fact that they don’t understand the billing system of emergency rooms. Why is it that most people feel that the amount of money billed against them after receiving emergency services is higher than what it should be? What would happen if you had no insurance cover and received medical care in an emergency room? Are there some unknown surprise bills which are added without your information? How do emergency rooms charge? Here is a quick guide in how the billing system of emergency rooms works;

Emergency services are mandatory to all with or without insurance

The first important fact that we have to point out about emergency rooms, is the fact that everyone is expected to be given emergency treatment whether or not he/she has insurance. Some people are given treatment even if they can’t afford it. This prompts emergency rooms to set up gross charges to be quite high in-order for them to compensate the payment of the less privileged.

Insurance service provider bargain with the emergency rooms on the amount of money payable

The other important thing you should know, is the fact that the hospital and the issuer of your insurance do bargain to come to terms on the amount of money payable for your emergency room treatment. The amounts of money quoted on your bills are not what insurance companies end up paying to the emergency rooms. They pay way less than you can imagine. Depending on the proficiency of the insurance company brokers, the charges can be cut down by more than 60%. It all depends with their contract negotiation skills and ability to convince the emergency room financial departments.

Emergency room visits are part of insurance benefits the insured enjoy

Everyone who is covered by a health insurance receives emergency room benefits. Each and every health insurance I know of in America includes benefits for emergency room visits for all its subscribers. This doesn’t restrict you to a particular institution as well. You are free to visit an emergency room of choice at any one point when you are experiencing a medical condition that needs you to visit the ER.

Amount of money paid depends on the specific service received from the emergency room

When it comes to the charging itself, there are a few factors used to come up with the final cost of an emergency visit. An emergency room will charge you for every single service that you receive. Minor or insignificant as it may seem to you, an MRI scan will be included in your final bill. This is why you normally receive very many bills from separate departments especially in hospitals. Each Emergency room department in a hospital will separately provide a quotation of the amount of money they feel you are supposed to pay. This is normally because most departments in hospitals are separate legal entities and as such, each has its own bill attached. Standalone emergency rooms like Bellaire Emergency Room though normally have only two or three claims in the final bill for your visit because the whole institution works under single management. The only claim perhaps comes from the physician.

Severity of the condition also plays a role in determining the final amount of money you pay for the services

Besides being charged for every single service you receive in an emergency room, you will get a final bill corresponding to the severity of your medical condition and the complexity of the treatment you received. In Bellaire Emergency Room for example there are 5 levels of care. From level 1 to level 5. Level 1 care is meant for ‘minor’ problems like earache while level 5 care is meant for far complex issues like broken bones and trauma. The cost rises as you go up the treatment chain.

If you are in Texas and are in Houston and are looking for an emergency room that offers cheap and reliable services in the area, then look no further than Bellaire Emergency Room. Our emergency room is well-equipped with the latest medical facilities and you can therefore expect nothing short of the best treatment from us. We accept most of the insurances in the US and our charging/billing system is transparent. Visit us today for the best possible emergency room care in Houston.

How are emergency rooms funded in America?

26 May 2017 New Treatments

I have realized a certain trend in the emergency rooms which has been bothering me for a long time now. I came to realize recently that the number of people receiving medical care from emergency rooms without insurance are more than those who are under insurance cover. This made me wonder how emergency rooms are able to sustain their services in America!

How are emergency rooms funded in America? This is a common question that I have come across in various medical platforms and social media pages. People are curious to know how the emergency rooms are funded considering that they sometimes give urgent care to the uninsured who can’t afford the services. In an effort to explain this, I want to take a look at the different types of emergency rooms available in America and how they conduct their business.

There are two main types of emergency rooms in America; freestanding emergency rooms and hospital emergency departments. Freestanding emergency rooms are facilities staffed by emergency services, are open 24 hours a day and are physically separated from the hospital. They may be owned by hospitals or be privately owned by individuals. Freestanding emergency rooms can further be broken down into either hospital outpatient department emergency center or independently owned freestanding emergency room. The main difference between the two subcategories is the fact that the former accepts Medicaid/Medicare payments while the latter does not. The latter are not bound by the federal legislation and regulations regarding operations such as EMTALA. This is not the case in all states though. Some states like Texas for example have passed legislations that impose rules and regulations similar to EMTALA on all the independently owned freestanding emergency departments.

The traditional hospital based emergency rooms on the other hand, operate normally and accept payment from Medicaid and Medicare. They are governed by federal rules and regulations such as EMTALA.

Financial implications for patients visiting the emergency rooms

There is no big difference between the cost of services offered in the freestanding emergency rooms and the hospital based emergency departments. The biggest difference as we have seen comes in when it comes to paying for the services that have been provided. The hospital based emergency rooms will readily treat Medicaid and Medicare as in network while their freestanding independently owned emergency rooms will not accept payment from such forms of payment.

Who funds the emergency rooms?

So, now that we have seen the main differences between the freestanding emergency rooms and hospital-based emergency rooms, it is time to go back to the main issue of who really funds these emergency rooms? How are they able to bridge the gap and financial void left behind when they offer services to the uninsured? This is what it is that normally happens especially in the hospital based emergency rooms;

Hospitals and physicians are normally forced to shoulder the financial burden for the uninsured by incurring billions of dollars in debt each year. This is a very common scenario in America. Actually of all the 140+ million reported emergency room visits, only about 40 million visits were made by insured people and the remaining 55% of the emergency care goes uncompensated. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health, the accumulative bad debt or amount of money accrued by uninsured people receiving urgent medical care is in the neighborhood of $200 billion every single year. A study recently conducted by the American Medical Association showed that more than one-third of emergency physicians lose an average of $140,300 each year from EMTALA-related bad debt. So, how are emergency rooms still able to make profit with such figures? How do they make up for the lost funds?

In an effort to offset the bad debt, hospitals in the recent past shifted uncompensated care costs to insured patients to make up the difference. This basically meant that the insured patients were forced to help carry the burden of uninsured patients. This is however not applicable today. Owing to numerous complaints and lawsuits by insurance companies and individuals, cost shifting was done away with. It therefore is no longer is a viable option because managed care and other health plans have instituted strict price controls to their insurance plans. This means that there is very little leeway and margin for the emergency rooms to try and squeeze in some of the bad debt through cist shifting.


Things are not looking any good though. With projections that health care costs will double in the coming few years and the number of uninsured Americans not showing signs of reducing, emergency rooms and other medical service providers will have to keep bearing with the burden. The nation will have to keep providing for not just the disadvantaged in the society but for the uninsured as well.

Bellaire ER IV Hydration therapy Treatment


24 May 2017 Rehabilitation

Bellaire ER IV Hydration therapy Treatment


Here at Bellaire ER we believe in helping people with their health, from serious life threatening medical conditions, to minor cuts, burns or simply the flu. We are a stand-alone Emergency room in the heart of Bellaire near the galleria. We pride ourselves on NO wait times, the best and friendliest staff, and getting you in and out and back to what’s really important in life. We are so pleased to announce a new service at our ER called IV Hydration Therapy.

Intravenous (IV) nutrition is a method of feeding vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances directly into a patient’s bloodstream. Bypassing the digestive system is the main advantage of IV nutrition. When substances are given orally they must be processed through the stomach and the intestines. Many substances may be rendered inactive in the digestive tract, or may not be well absorbed due to poor intestinal function. By directly administering nutrients to the body higher than normal blood levels can be achieved. These increased levels can provide an immediate therapeutic response by correcting deficiencies that may arise from a disease state.

Scientific research has demonstrated that a variety of conditions can benefit from the use of IV nutrition. A few of the conditions that may be helped using IV nutrition techniques include hypertension, COPD, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, hepatitis, hangovers and even the common cold.

All of the intravenous protocols used at Bellaire ER have been thoroughly researched and have been shown to be effective in the treatment of certain conditions. Because we are an emergency room, you have the advantage of having board certified Doctors and nurses on standby should you need further treatment.

Our Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Drip will deliver vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly to the body for maximum absorption obtainable with oral, or even intramuscular (IM), administration. This allows the nutrients to flood your body and nourish itself at the cellular level. By using this method we can safely deliver larger doses that would not otherwise be tolerated orally. Our IV vitamin drips can be used both proactively to maintain optimum wellness and also to treat acute and chronic conditions or simply cure your worst hangover from too much alcohol. Alcohol causes significant oxidative stress on the body, Bellaire ER can get you fixed up and back to enjoying life.

Our IV treatment can get you back on your feet and have you feeling yourself again. Our treatments take about 45 min to an hour; and include medications to relief your headache & nausea, in addition to electrolytes, vitamins and antioxidants.

Our staff is highly trained and very attentive. If you’ve had too much fun the night before and don’t want to ruin the next day by laying around in bed, come see us! We’re open 24/7

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