Obamacare Sends More Patients to the ER
Following the execution of the Affordable Care Act took in January, hospitals in Norton has seen a surge of emergency room patients. There are more patients now crowding for immediate care accounting to around 100 or more people per month.
A report by Marshfield News Herald said that there is a 12 percent increase in the number of patients in emergency rooms. What is surprising is that many of the people recorded requesting emergency care do not suffer from condition requiring such method. The increase in patients has prompted the Louisville hospital to add more exam rooms. Hospital management has also decided to transform the waiting room as an extension of the emergency unit.
"We're seeing patients who probably should be seen at our (immediate-care centers)," said Lewis Perkins, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer of the hospital.
"And we're seeing this across the system." Perkins added.
This is against what many predicted after Obamacare has been enforced. The primary objective of the legislation is to lessen the demand for emergency rooms and reduce pressure. Obamacare also sought to expand Medicaid offering underprivileged individuals primary health care access. The surge in emergency room patients has also been observed in parts like Kentucky. More Medicaid patients are requiring emergency care.
According to a poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, ER doctors expressed seeing more patients starting January 1. Likewise, around 90 percent of physicians expect more emergency room visits in the following three years. Mike Rust, President of the Kentucky Hospital Association, said that members across the state also see the same trend in the following years. There is a problem stemming from shortage or primary care physicians throughout the years. The government has yet to address this issue.
"It's a perfect storm here," Dr. Ryan Stanton of Lexington said. Dr. Stanton serves as president of the Kentucky chapter of the ER physician group.
"We've given people an ATM card in a town with no ATMs." The doctor added.