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Old 04-01-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,268 posts, read 18,091,133 times
Reputation: 7973

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9 patients made nearly 2,700 ER visits in Texas

From the Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas – Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.

Read the rest of this article here.
9 patients made nearly 2,700 ER visits in Texas (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090401/ap_on_re_us/frequent_er_patients - broken link)

So who said we don't already have socialized medicine in this country? What can we do to stop this kind of abuse?

Last edited by justNancy; 04-01-2009 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: highlight copied text from article
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania USA
2,308 posts, read 2,436,682 times
Reputation: 369
Exclamation 9 patients made nearly 2,700 ER visits in Texas

Yahoo News
Quote:
AUSTIN, Texas – Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.
"What we're really trying to do is find out who's using our emergency rooms ... and find solutions," said Ann Kitchen, executive director of the group, which presented the report last week to the Travis County Healthcare District board.
The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.
Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50, the report said, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.
"It's a pretty significant issue," said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, chief of the emergency department at University Medical Center at Brackenridge, which has the busiest ERs in the area.
Solutions include referring some frequent users to mental health programs or primary care doctors for future care, Ziebell said.
"They have a variety of complaints," he said. With mental illness, "a lot of anxiety manifests as chest pain."
I am absolutely dumbfounded by this article! How can 9 persons cost $3 million in medical care over a period of 6 years? So now, the Republic of Texas, is just thinking about ways of how not to spend $3 million on just 9 persons? Is there not something wrong with this entire though process, or is this a case of the barn burned down 6 years ago, so let's think about ways of not burning down the barn!
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:04 PM
 
11,946 posts, read 14,224,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hazzard View Post
Yahoo News

I am absolutely dumbfounded by this article! How can 9 persons cost $3 million in medical care over a period of 6 years? So now, the Republic of Texas, is just thinking about ways of how not to spend $3 million on just 9 persons? Is there not something wrong with this entire though process, or is this a case of the barn burned down 6 years ago, so let's think about ways of not burning down the barn!
I think this is one of the reasons why I'd rather see a comprehensive system put in place. A full blown data base would prevent this kind of nonsense in the first place. How to administer it... medical community has confidentiality rules, and patient files limited access to that medical community via patient consent seems most practical.

Similar tales of people getting hooked on prescription drugs changing primary care physicians as often as they change their underwear to get a refill. None of the docs/ pharmacists know about one another and they're assisting suicide indirectly. That story was private insurance btw, not public or medicade.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,052 posts, read 81,335,109 times
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And what would they do with that info..refuse a patient ? Oops..sorry you've been here 10 times with bogus chest pains. And mental health..they have no where to go as it is.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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Mental health this way is very costly, is it not?? We used to have hospitals that housed them, but someone said it cost too much- let them roam the streets.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:48 PM
 
24,797 posts, read 45,944,327 times
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Key part of the quote: "...Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50...

Seven of nine with mental health issues. We need to keep in mind that the GOP Messiah, Reagan, for some reason, decided to shut most of our mental hospitals. Now the emergency rooms, the police and the prisons have to deal with these people, instead of what once was the proper place. Save a penny on mental health care, spend a hundred pennies to clean up the problems due to the penny pinching. Seems it's the GOP way. We're going broke from all the cost cutting. But hey, the wonderful private sector (for-profit hospitals) will surely solve all our problems. Right.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Mike to be fair, that trend started in the 70's based on abuses happening to patients in the hospitals. The institutionlization effect, ACLU issues, a few things going on all at once. Reagan used it to abandon them completely, but this trend started on carters watch. Mental health soft sciences is still very crude, and psychiatry isn't really offering a whole lot of guarantees.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania USA
2,308 posts, read 2,436,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Mike to be fair, that trend started in the 70's based on abuses happening to patients in the hospitals. The institutionlization effect, ACLU issues, a few things going on all at once. Reagan used it to abandon them completely, but this trend started on carters watch. Mental health soft sciences is still very crude, and psychiatry isn't really offering a whole lot of guarantees.
Speaking as a psychiatric patient, there are no guarantees to issues of the brain. I've been a mental health patient since 2003 and I've had a a variety of treatment regimens. I've undergone hundreds of hours of "talk therapy", I've taken a variety of psych meds, including the 3 meds that I currently take (Anti-anxiety, anti-depressive and a mood modifier). I will tell you first hand that some days are good; some days are OK; and some days are horrible. Psychiatry is not like physical medicine; what works today doesn't work tomorrow and what works tomorrow doesn't work today. Science knows but a tiny fraction about the workings of the brain and mind. To put it bluntly, the science of psychiatry and psychology is only a few steps removed from Sigmund Freud's couch of the 1800's.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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steve believe me I do understand and feel deep empathy. My grandparents were psychiatric nurses and I got to see more than a few things first hand growing up. I wish medicine were more helpful, but I think research is difficult because individuals are what they are. Sorting out brain chemistry vs mechanical injury vs behavioral issues is like trying to sort out jello.

I'm hoping advances in genetics, maps of the brain, and chemistry that's more compatible with the body can solve more. Psychotropic drugs all too often wind up attacking otherwise healthy organs like liver, kidney, heart etc. What a horrible choice to have to make.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:25 PM
 
48,504 posts, read 93,473,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hazzard View Post
Yahoo News

I am absolutely dumbfounded by this article! How can 9 persons cost $3 million in medical care over a period of 6 years? So now, the Republic of Texas, is just thinking about ways of how not to spend $3 million on just 9 persons? Is there not something wrong with this entire though process, or is this a case of the barn burned down 6 years ago, so let's think about ways of not burning down the barn!
Maybe the new barn built after the one that burned down?But you maybe right;kind of like trying to stop the bailout fever that started going around after the first banks were saved.
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