Thursday, March 30, 2006

Emergency Rooms and the Uninsured

Health care guru and blogger Joe Paduda links to a report of a study by the American College of Emergency Physicians that finds that only 15 percent of visitors to emergency rooms are uninsured. This holds true even among those who visit emergency rooms four or more times per year.

This would seem to refute a commonly held belief that the uninsured use emergency rooms more frequently than the general population due to their reliance on these facilities as a last resort for primary care. As such, it may have important implications for current debates on health care policy.


Kat Coble said...

I visit an emergency room 3-6 times a year. I have insurance. I have never seen anyone without insurance checking in at the emergency room of my hospital. And the ER check-in clerks are pretty loud about asking for "license and proof of insurance" as well as asking about "religious preference"

Donna Locke said...

If your costs are insured by the government (Medicaid, TennCare, whatever) because you have no private insurance, you're probably counted among the insured even though technically you are not insured.