How to Reduce Expensive and Unnecessary Trips to the ER!
Here’s the question…
Do I drive to the ER, lose a night of sleep, or chance it and wait until morning to call the doctor?
People who go to the ER, without a life threatening condition, will typically endure a 2-hour wait, often duplicative testing, and wildly inflated prices. ER services are 12 times as expensive as visiting a physician’s office costing more than an extra $32 billion each year, according to a 2019 analysis by UnitedHealth Group.
In the event of a work-related injury, the extra ER cost increases claims costs, drives up workers compensation premium and correspondingly reduces company profit.
The ER is also not the healthiest place to be. ER waiting rooms are typically occupied by some very sick people.
Yet many who go to the ER after hours require no emergency services. They simply have to other place to go.
Top 10 Reasons to go to the ER
Emergency rooms provide care for patients who are experiencing more dangerous conditions, such as trauma, stroke, heart attack, or any of the symptoms below:
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure.
- Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness.
- Changes in vision.
- Confusion or changes in mental status.
- Any sudden or severe pain.
- Uncontrolled bleeding.
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea.
Some “Before You Go” Considerations
1. Secure a telehealth phone number from your doctor. Ask for a number you can call to discuss a current medical situation and get help with deciding the appropriate treatment. Keep the number easily accessible.
2. Review the Top 10 Reasons to go to the ER. Take a few minutes to assess the situation. Is it truly an emergency or could waiting until the morning to see a doctor make sense?
3. Prioritize primary care and prevention. Consult your primary care physician early when something bothers you, before it becomes an emergency. Get regular physicals and follow solid advice when it comes to managing any issues that surface. Proactive action can help prevent dangerous conditions and an unnecessary trip to the ER.
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