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Study: Expanding Medicaid doesn’t
reduce ER trips. It increases them.

Washington Post, by Sarah Kliff

Original Article

Posted By:toledo, 1/3/2014 7:25:11 AM

As the health-care law expands Medicaid to cover millions more Americans, a new Harvard University study finds that enrollment in public program significantly increases enrollees´ use of emergency departments. The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, showed a 40 percent increase in emergency department visits among those low-income adults in Oregon who gained Medicaid coverage in 2008 through a state lottery. This runs counter to some health-care law supporters´ hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care, by making it easier for low income adults to see primary care providers. "I would view it as part of

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: miceal, 1/3/2014 7:38:14 AM     (No. 9677732)

That´s what happens when you have a "medicaid card" but no doctor to honor same. May I get a collective "duh?"

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Reply 2 - Posted by: skedaddle, 1/3/2014 7:44:47 AM     (No. 9677741)

I´ll add another thought to what caused the increase. Almost every doctor´s answering machine now says something to the effect that if you´re really sick, call 911. And if you do get a person at the doctor´s office and there´s no appointments available, they tell you to go to the emergency room. I´m surprised the increase was only 7%.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Achilles, 1/3/2014 7:50:56 AM     (No. 9677743)

Doctors in private practice do not want another medicaid patient to loss money on.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: kanphil, 1/3/2014 8:14:31 AM     (No. 9677769)

The headline states a fact which has been apparent since Medicare began.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: JimS, 1/3/2014 8:44:28 AM     (No. 9677812)

Let´s go one step further…The biggest single reason for the spiraling costs of health care is Medicaid, followed by Medicare.
By providing free health care to low income people under Medicaid, its overuse is encouraged. People go to the ER for hang nails.
Then, the government in trying to control the out-of-control costs, decides what it will pay the health care providers for their services as "fair and reasonable." Those payments are ALWAYS low-balled, forcing the providers to shift their costs onto private health care plans--who have been subsidizing the Medicaid patients this way for decades.
This is how the government ruined the health care marketplace and caused the spiraling costs that Obamacare (deceitfully) claimed would fix.
Meanwhile, people with private health care see rising premiums and deductibles, and do not go to their doctors or to the ER for minor things, like freeloading Medicaid recipients do.
Now, that shouldn´t be hard to understand, even for a (self-proclaimed) "Constitutional scholar" like Obama, who believes he is always the smartest guy in the room.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: sooznews, 1/3/2014 8:44:31 AM     (No. 9677813)

Regardless of the ease of making a doctor´s appointment. It is way easier just to show up at the ER. Especially if we pay for an ambulance to get you there. A small out of pocket fee for both - such as Germany has in place - would make people think twice.

Five bucks would put a damper on mindless ER use.


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Reply 7 - Posted by: valinva, 1/3/2014 8:49:03 AM     (No. 9677822)

Simple fix would be add a $5 copay. Medicaid recipients don;t give a hoot about the cost because it costs them nothing. They just call a taxi (also paid for my Medicaid) and go the the ER. I worked in a hospital years ago and there was a woman who was in the ER every week with one of her children. We used to laugh about it when we saw them coming because we knew it was going to be for something that did not need a doctors care. One day her child had a small cut on his finger and the ER doc who had seen her many times asked her shy she didn´t just put a band-aid on it. She told him she would have to buy the band-aid but coming to the ER was free.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Keekng, 1/3/2014 9:00:14 AM     (No. 9677837)

#4 probably meant "Medicaid".

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Reply 9 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 1/3/2014 9:42:09 AM     (No. 9677887)

Proving once again that demand increases for services perceived to be "free."

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 1/3/2014 10:18:51 PM     (No. 9678855)

Just about weekly, we get ads for new "urgent care" practices opening up around here. The cost is substantial for a visit, billed to your health insurer, plus you must pay the co-pay your insurance company requires. I know people forced to use them because they can´t find a doctor who is accepting new patients, even with insurance.


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Reply 11 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/4/2014 1:33:22 AM     (No. 9678978)

Let´s not forget community health centers in this state alone, received over $12 million in grants to promote the ACA. They don´t have to find a PCP that will accept Medicaid.
Before the ACA, they treated patients with Medicaid and the uninsured were on a sliding scale fee.

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