Tuesday, February 15, 2011
rich ER, poor ER
Another "free standing ER" has open in our metro area. This one is owned by a hospital in the area but is not affiliated with this hospital. Another place opened in the last 6 months but it is only open 12 hours a day. This one will be open 24 hours a day.
I am fascinated by all of this. Is the move to a two tier medical system? These places are in the suburbs where people tend to have insurance. Because they are freestanding they are not subject to EMTALA regulations, in other words they can refuse to see you or they can make you pay up front. These places make more money than the other ERs because insurance pays more than medicaid/medicare.
The thing is if this is the future of emergency medicine, will hospital ERs become the place for the poor to get care and the free standing places for those with insurance?
Shouldn't these kind of developments be a sign to legislators that EMTALA needs to be revamped?
Posted by girlvet at 9:56 PM