emergency-room-signEmergency Room visits are a smaller part of our overall health care spending  than is popularly supposed. Yet insurers are looking to shift some of those costs back onto patients who do not require immediate hospitalization

jay kaplanDr. Jay KaplanCutting off payments for ER visits that turn out not to be acute medical emergencies will trim those costs, says Dr. Jay Kaplan of Marin General Hospital and the American College of Emergency Physicians. But he believes it is bad medical policy.

Anthony-WrightAnthony WrightThat should come as no surprise, adds Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access. It's an attitude that has been consistent over many years.

erMuch of this discussion is based on the notion that treating patients in the Emergency Room is more expensive than seeing them in a doctor's office. But it's hard to know if that is really the case, says Dr. Kaplan, because the accounting and billing systems for each are dramatically different.








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