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Old 01-21-2010, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,034 posts, read 3,729,970 times
Reputation: 1346

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Keep in mind that Urgent Cares and Minute Clinics are for minor issues such as ear infections, strep throat, colds, flu, and urinary tract infections. These are nurse practitioners and physician assistants, not MDs. They are a great thing if you have them close by, but they cannot treat major issues.

I am very blessed to have good health insurance. I've been in health care for 16 years and know when to see a specialist and when to see my GP and my insurance allows me to self refer. Phoenix seems to have an abundance of physicians open to taking new patients.

Working at a large hospital, the strain placed on our ER was tremendous during the H1N1 scare. Schools were transporting kids by the bus load whether they had symptoms or not. ERs are here to treat the ill and the suffering, not to screen well people for the potential of illness. Our ER is filled daily with people with the sniffles or with some coughing. And we write off millions in unpaid bills every year.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,030,960 times
Reputation: 7701
Quote:
Originally Posted by redjan1225 View Post
Keep in mind that Urgent Cares and Minute Clinics are for minor issues such as ear infections, strep throat, colds, flu, and urinary tract infections. These are nurse practitioners and physician assistants, not MDs. They are a great thing if you have them close by, but they cannot treat major issues.

I am very blessed to have good health insurance. I've been in health care for 16 years and know when to see a specialist and when to see my GP and my insurance allows me to self refer. Phoenix seems to have an abundance of physicians open to taking new patients.

Working at a large hospital, the strain placed on our ER was tremendous during the H1N1 scare. Schools were transporting kids by the bus load whether they had symptoms or not. ERs are here to treat the ill and the suffering, not to screen well people for the potential of illness. Our ER is filled daily with people with the sniffles or with some coughing. And we write off millions in unpaid bills every year.

So, would you claim the right to triage them all, based upon just your opinion of their symptoms? Would you prevent them from coming? If so, how and why?
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,030,960 times
Reputation: 7701
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdy1985 View Post
Are you saying we need to reform the fact that the hospital has a 24 hour pharmacy and they should let you use it? Or is it the bill? You have to remember to staff an ER with specialists, RN's, imaging on site, ready to go ORs, and the whole thing costs a lot of money. This is why it is an emergency room, you only use it as a last option.

Not too many years ago, the ER would provide a patient with a prescription sufficient to hold you over until you could get in to see your regular doctor. They came in little paper folders.

When did that change and why? And, why shouldn't the patient expect to get the medicines they need from the ER?
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,266,772 times
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How about my room mate's case? She hit her head, probably got a concussion at the time, yet refused to go for a few weeks. Should she go to an ER, or her primary care doctor? The only way she could see him, without an appointment, is on a first come, first served basis. She could wind up sitting there all day and not get seen.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:21 PM
 
1,255 posts, read 2,693,962 times
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I know a Girl that went to the ER wanting a Pregnancy Test.So she goes in with Stomach problems,they wanted to treat her.She refused saying she thought she was pregnant.So they run the Test found she was.

Know another Girl that needed a ride to town.Called an Ambulace said her Baby was sick.They run her to Town,couldn't find nothing wrong with Baby.She had no money to pay.So who paid for this?

hillman
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:25 PM
 
1,255 posts, read 2,693,962 times
Reputation: 952
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Not too many years ago, the ER would provide a patient with a prescription sufficient to hold you over until you could get in to see your regular doctor. They came in little paper folders.

When did that change and why? And, why shouldn't the patient expect to get the medicines they need from the ER?
I had Meds from ER that almost killed me from internal Bleeding because the ER Doctor wasn't listening to me on the Meds I was taking

hillman
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 9,861,102 times
Reputation: 3782
Just to add another spin on it ER's are a favorite root to go for drug abusers A drug abuser is well aware that if they show up in the ER after hours with dental pain they may score a few vicodan since it is to late to go to the dentist but not to late to go to the pharmacy since we are there until 8:30 P.M. You can always tell the abuser since they always tell us they have plenty of the antiobiotic at home and just need to fill the pain meds and they are super polite about everything
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Memphis, TN Metro Area
79 posts, read 172,810 times
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Yes, people do use the ER and hospital for what normally would be conditions/illnesses/injuries that most of us would just see our primary care provider for. I work in HR, and this is an ongoing issue, especially with the pressure from companies to reduce the increasing insurance premiums.

I am in a very rural location, with few providers. The few providers that we do have do not exactly have a sterling reputation (but that's another story) and sometimes people just go to the hospital instead of the doctor since they don't regularly see doctors they don't like.

People who are poor are also more likely to go to the hospital since most of them don't see a providers as regularly as their middle class peers.

There are lots of reasons for this, and the answer is going to have to address all the root causes to be effective.

I have several friends that work in healthcare as providers in a hospital, and hear the stories all the time about someone coming to the ER for a cold or other minor ailment.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,128,367 times
Reputation: 5033
Hate to say it but I think I sort of did, last week.
I've had insurance continuously for over a year. I never bothered to establish a primary care physician. I was always too busy, and frankly I feel silly going to the doctor when I am in perfect health. Getting one would not have been a problem; despite living in a rural area, people around here can generally get a same-day appointment with a PCP or at least a nurse practitioner if needed. Of course, late on a Friday afternoon I start to feel uncomfortable. I ignore it. It gets worse and worse. I start looking up urgent care clinic. At that point it was 7pm. I was just over an hour away from the nearest one, and they all close at 8pm. I figure I will wait until Saturday morning and go to one, but it gets worse, and then I have blood in my urine. I was totally freaked out. I knew it was probably a UTI (I've never had one before), but you never know. So, off to the ER.
I was annoyed at myself because what a waste of the ER's time, for something so basic (and it did turn out to be a UTI), and a waste of my insurance company's money, plus from my perspective, I could have had a $25 doctor's office co-pay instead of a $75 ER co-pay. My insurance is changing March 1 and I will definitely go ahead and schedule a physical, just to establish a relationship with a PCP that I can call if anything odd pops up.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:01 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,801,497 times
Reputation: 465
One thing I noticed when DH and I were foster parents and had to use the free clinic for our foster children was that the hours were very limited. Most of the people using this clinic were the working poor. Most of those people do not have jobs where they have sick days, or their employers will allow them to take a few hours off to take a sick child to the doctor. The clinic we used closed (the other side of the office saw adults on Medicaid and had the same hours) each day at 3:30 and were only there M-F. And its not only that day, but if you get off at 5 and discover when you get home that your child has an earache, you either go to the ER to have the child checked and get the antibiotics going that night, or you have to miss work the next day, which is for most people in the working class, the loss of a day's pay. I can see why so many with minor illnesses have to use an ER. Society makes it very difficult for them to be able to get themselves or their children to a doctor during their non-working hours.

Nancy
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