Uninsured Patients Flood US Hospital Emergency Rooms

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Uninsured Patients Flood US Hospital Emergency Rooms

Post by CVX »

As discussed in the immigration forum, here is some additional information:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Patients lacking health insurance are flooding U.S. emergency rooms, many seeking routine care that they should get elsewhere, a group representing government-funded clinics reported on Monday.

The report by The National Association of Community Health Centers finds that in 2002 there were 110.2 million visits to hospital emergency departments, up from 89.8 million in 1998. During this time, many hospital emergency rooms closed and there were 15 percent fewer than in 1998, the report found.

"What this report reveals are the very serious holes in our health care system that are getting bigger," said Dr. Monica Sweeney, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center in Brooklyn, New York.

"I see evidence of this every day at our health center, where uninsured patients are lining up at the door. Many of the patients I see waited longer than they should have before coming to see a doctor because they didn't have insurance or worried about how much the care would cost."

For its study, the group went through published reports and analyzed data from the Health and Human Services Department. All 1,000 or so federally funded community health centers provide the data annually to HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration.

It found the number of uninsured patients getting care at the centers -- which must provide care regardless of ability to pay -- grew by 11 percent during 2003 alone.

"Some health centers are experiencing an explosion of uninsured patients as high as 73 percent, and due to a weakened economy and state budget cuts, no letup is in sight," the report reads.

"Fewer doctors open their doors to patients who rely on Medicaid. One-fifth are not accepting any new Medicaid patients," it said. Medicaid is the state-federal health insurance plan for the poor.

An estimated 43 million Americans lack health insurance and either go without health care or rely on nonprofit, community centers. Or they visit emergency rooms which, by law, must provide basic, needed care.

The Center for Studying Health System Change estimates that 63 percent of Americans aged under 65 got health insurance through an employer in 2003.

Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Uninsured Patients Flood US Hospital Emergency Rooms

Post by illuminati »

So, what is the answer?
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Uninsured Patients Flood US Hospital Emergency Rooms

Post by eyesopen »

What is going on ???? I live in the Uk so we have a national health service noone needs inurance everyone is treated equally noone is turned away and most importantly poorer people dont get second rate care, our health service has its faults as any service does doesnt it??? but a signed peice of paper youve paid for i find crazy that the richest country in the world can decide your level of care based on that. I am pro USA dont get me wrong however i think they need to add the care back into your health CARE!
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Uninsured Patients Flood US Hospital Emergency Rooms

Post by booradley »

but we pay for our national health service just the same as we would pay for health insurance in the U.S.A. and we really can't afford to treat all the health tourists that come to the u.k.

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