Of all the things that the President Obama introduced during his reign as the president of the United States, nothing quite sticks out like Obamacare. Besides the fact that it was named after him, Obamacare or the affordable care act was enacted in 2010 and its sole intention was to extend the eligibility for health insurance for young adults and the less privileged in the society to enable them receive affordable care. Although it was not directly mentioned, Obamacare had ‘avoid the expensive emergency department services at all costs’ written all over it.
According to analysts, it was aimed at reducing the number of visits made to emergency rooms and emergency departments where the uninsured would go to receive care. The emergency room services were considered costly back then and in giving more people access to the health insurance coverage, the founders of Obamacare imagined that patients would seek help in traditional doctors’ offices which were regarded as cheap rather than rushing to emergency rooms. How wrong they were! Wrong because although Obamacare helped millions access cheaper medical care, it didn’t reduce the number of emergency room visits in the country. If anything, the number of visits to emergency rooms in the country has doubled since 2010.
This answers the question commonly asked online of whether emergency room visits are down. Emergency rooms visits are on the rise and it really is easy to see why more and more people are embracing the idea of visiting emergency rooms for medical care. Here are some of the common reasons why the number of visits have steadily risen over the past few years;
Affordable services-One of the main reasons why there has been a steady increase in the number of emergency rooms in the country, is because the emergency room services are now offered at very affordable costs. Contrary to popular opinion, the services are affordable and they are on the verge of harmonization for the sake of unison countrywide. The drop in the cost of the services is attributed to the fact that there have been very many new private owners who have come into the industry and started their own private emergency rooms. An increase in the number of emergency rooms means increased competition and eventually a drop in the services. This is why people can be seen going to emergency rooms without having to worry much about the amount of money billed against their names. The services are affordable.
Sensitization of the public on the services offered in emergency rooms
The other reason why the emergency room visits are not down in America is because the public now knows more about the services offered in the emergency. Gone are the days when the emergency room was considered as a place for the seriously injured and people who are in near death situations. Sensitization has helped many people realize that emergency rooms are capable of offering similar medical care services like those offered in normal hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Convenience and accessibility
Although emergency rooms are known for their long waiting times, people still prefer them over traditional hospitals because of the fact that they are accessible and are very convenient. ERs are literally in every neighborhood and accessing them is not hard. Considering that they are accessible 24 hours a day as well, it is easy to see why people are falling in love with the nature of services offered in the emergency rooms. About 30% of all the people that used emergency room services in 2016 cited finding their doctor’s office closed as the main reason why they used the emergency room services. This goes to show that convenience and accessibility plays a very important role as far as visiting emergency rooms is concerned.
Lack of enough primary caregivers to cater for the insured
Obamacare saw an influx in the number of insured individuals in the US. There however was no significant change in the number of primary care service providers in the country. This therefore meant that there was obviously going to be pressure on the existing primary care providers. This means that some of the insured people still had to look for help in emergency rooms because all the other facilities were literally flooded. People have nowhere else to go but the emergency rooms and this explains the rise in the number of emergency room visits.
There is also the menacing issue of shortage of primary care doctors and the high number of physicians who just won’t accept Medicaid as a payment for the services offered. Here in Bellaire Emergency Room, we have seen an increase in the number of visits over the past few years but this has not affected the quality of service we continue offering to our patients. If you are in search of cheap and high quality medical care in Texas, then visit us today and we will give you a reason why you should make us your emergency room of choice.