Ease ER overload – Opinion – USATODAY.com
Reforms needed to improve doctor access
By Kevin Pho
Emblematic of soaring health care costs, which are projected to reach $3 trillion by 2011,is the nationwide crisis of emergency department overcrowding. More than $18 billion is wasted annually on unnecessary visits to the ER,with volume rising by 32% and wait times almost doubling to one hour during the past decade.Relieving this strain will be critical to any health care reform.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the uninsured who are utilizing emergency services. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that patients with health insurance were primarily responsible for the increase of emergency services over the past decade. Lack of access to an available doctor is the major reason.
Good work, Kevin!