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Friday, October 20, 2017

Study: Nearly 50% of US medical care occurs in EDs

Variables: -Convenience: Consumers rarely “pre-shop” for healthcare so when a need arrives we use proximity and time conveniences as the deciding factor. -Urgent versus emergent: we don’t tend to differentiate. Although 85% of all ER contacts are due to a non-emergency issues, that awareness has not changed consumer preference. -Alternative resource availability: limited. Even outpatient medical offices with extended hours may have non-24 hour availability and may not have the resources to address a pressing concern resulting in the patient being redirected to an ER. -Price: although ER bills are pricey, this has not dissuaded 50% of Americans from seeking care in ERs. Conclusion: consumers are declaring what they want-convenience of medical care. Solution: give consumers what they want-redefine how and when care is delivered. Some ERs are already charging a flat “entry fee“ for non-urgent issues ($250).
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD