Too many ER visits?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2016 in Insurance, Patient Care | 0 comments

Too many ER visits?

Too many ER visits?

A new study shows millions of New Yorkers are overusing hospital emergency rooms and driving up everyone’s insurance premiums.

Using data reported to the NYS Health Department, Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield estimates that out of the 6.4 million visits to hospital emergency rooms in New York State in 2013, two million of them were for preventable conditions that could and should have been treated by primary care physicians.  In Monroe County alone, out of every 100 ER visits, 20-30 of them were not significant enough to warrant emergency services.

“Many of the visits are for sore throats, colds, sprains, sinus infections,” says Dr. Jamie Kerr, the medical director at Excellus.

She says it costs insurance companies eight times more for a patient to be treated in an emergency room compared to a primary care office. Those costs eventually get passed along to all customers in the form of premium increases. “We’re not telling you not to go to the ER but if you think it’s not serious and if your physician is not available, there are options other than going to the ER,” says Dr. Kerr.

Click here to read the entire WHEC report.

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