All posts tagged emergency-rooms

When do you go to urgent care vs. an emergency room? – KSNT News

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) Thousands of people use emergency rooms and urgent care centers in Northeast Kansas every year. But do you know the difference between the two, and when to use each? Health professionals in Topeka are saying many people get confused on where to go when immediate medical ailments arise.

Korri Phillips, the Medical Director at Cotton ONeil Express Care Clinics said the biggest difference is the emergency room is there for life or limb threatening illnesses or injuries.

The express care is more for immediate care needs; fevers, sore throats, ear aches, sprains, strains, fractures. We always joke that its fractures without the bone sticking out of the skin.

Between primary care offices, urgent and express care, and emergency rooms, many may not know where the best place to go is, when a critical medical situation arises.

Phillips said the following are emergencies appropriate for the ER, I tell people to think of it as a threat to life, limb, or to their eye sight.

Urgent cares are opportune for more immediate medical concerns, when your primary care doctor is unavailable.

I come here because its something the doctor can take care of and its not an emergency situation, said Jackie Creek, a patient at Cotton ONeil Express Care.

When using Express or Urgent Cares instead of Emergency Rooms, wait times are significantly less, and co-pays are easier on your wallet.

So the express cares still charge the co-pays, but the co-pays are much less than the emergency room and the cost of care is much less than the emergency room. There are national studies that now show there are immediate cost benefits for the patient. Most of it is the convenience and not having to make an appointment. You can walk in. You can be seen at your own convenience. Right now we have six clinics across Topeka and 5 of the six clinics are open on the weekend. The other clinics are open throughout the day and into the evening, and then also the weekend hours, said Phillips.

If you are still unsure on what is the best facility to go to, you can always call to get advice from a medical professional before arriving in person.

Recently, three Cotton ONeil Express Care facilities received accreditation from the Urgent Care Association of America.

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Traits of people who go to the emergency room because of alcohol – Addiction Now

The majority of people who frequently attend emergency rooms due to alcohol-related reasons are unemployed, isolated and not only mentally but also physically ill, a new U.K. study shows.

The authors of the study published Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy explained that assessing the common characteristics of the population in need of recurrent emergency medical assistance can be valuable for several reasons, including addressing discrimination and improving treatment. Information about the characteristics of people who frequently visit emergency rooms for alcohol-related reasons is fairly limited and mostly derived from measurable surveys or demographic data.

The motivation behind [the study] was because there is a big problem with alcohol frequent attenders costing a huge amount of money to public sector services in the U.K., said author Tom Parkman, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Addictions department at Kings College in London.

They collected reports from six large hospitals in London that constantly have busy emergency departments. Physicians specialized in alcohol-related disorders and nurses from these hospitals provided the researchers with information about past-year emergency room visits before a sample (of 18 men and 12 women) was selected.

Partially-structured interviews that lasted between one to two hours were conducted with the 30 participants and covered topics such as sociodemographic details; present and past alcohol and other drug use; and addiction treatment history or desired support.

According to the researchers, each subject was sober enough to consent to be interviewed for the study, but some did drink before or during their interviews.

After the interviews were transcribed and analyzed, the researchers found that the majority of the subjects had a similar, long history of alcohol use.

The frequency of hospital visits varied drastically among the participants between 10 and 84 visits a year per participant and their patterns of substance use were also different, but almost all of them met the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

We found that there are push factors contributing to them attending for example, the dislike of community services, deteriorating health and excessive drinking, Parkman said. And pull factors from the hospitals [such as] being warm, always open [are] perceived as better quality compared to community services.

For some subjects, their alcohol addiction had reached life-threatening levels. One participant reported drinking bleach several times and another reported being terminally ill after having a severe liver disease among other problems.

Almost one-third of the subjects had been diagnosed with a mental illness and almost all others said they believed they had an undiagnosed psychiatric condition. Nearly all of them reported that they struggled with a chronic physical illness, including arthritis, epilepsy, Guillain-Barr syndrome and obstructive pulmonary disease. The majority admitted that these conditions were (continue reading)

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Traits of people who go to the emergency room because of alcohol

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The majority of people who frequently attend emergency rooms due to alcohol-related reasons are unemployed, isolated and not only mentally but also physically ill, a new U.K. study shows.

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Livia Areas-Holmblad

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Exclusive: Nation’s first airport emergency room opening at DFW International – Dallas Business Journal


Dallas Business Journal
Exclusive: Nation's first airport emergency room opening at DFW International
Dallas Business Journal
Smack dab in the middle of the heavily saturated North Texas market for freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers, Dr. Carrie de Moor found a void. And it's bigger than the island of Manhattan.

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Exclusive: Nation’s first airport emergency room opening at DFW International – Dallas Business Journal

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Medical emergency: ER costs skyrocket, leaving patients in shock – CNBC

“Hospital payments will vary because they reflect each individual hospital and the unique care needs of the patient population it serves,” Watteau said in a statement. “One community may have sicker patients with more chronic illness, while another may care for more uninsured patients. Drawing information that is meaningful from a uniform set of charges is challenging because hospital care is individually tailored to each patient’s needs.”

For single Americans making $48,284 or less, or families with incomes below $92,000, this provision can limit the amount emergency rooms can charge, making a painful accident or illness hurt your wallet less. But for-profit hospitals aren’t covered by the provision, Bosco said.

2. Ask for financial counseling at the ER.

Hospitals routinely have this service available, and it can be the key to learning your rights. On top of the Obamacare provision covering nonprofit hospitals, Medicaid-eligible patients are able to apply for coverage up to 10 days retroactively, Bosco said. That can cover nearly all of the unexpected bills for patients who make less than Medicaid cutoffs, about $33,900 for a family of four. (The cap varies by state.)

In addition, a counselor can explain that the ACA requires that Obamacare plans cover out-of-network ER care without co-pays over and above what in-network ERs charge it’s one of the essential health benefits the law requires subsidy-eligible plans to have. Most employer-provided plans have a similar provision.

3. After you get the bill, go back to the hospital or doctor and negotiate.

It’s well known that providers give insurers, both private and public, big breaks on quoted rates. Uninsured or out-of-network patients initially get billed at so-called chargemaster rates. But Makary and Bosco agree that hospitals will rarely dig in to get the full price when challenged. If they do, they risk getting nothing for their services, so they are likely to cut the price and negotiate a payment plan. In addition, hospitals are getting better about prominently posting their financial-assistance policies in ERs, Bosco said.

“It’s not a great solution,” Bosco said. “But patients with a low income can ask for the Medicare or Medicaid rate.”

By Tim Mullaney, special to CNBC.com

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