Who’s packing ERs? Not the uninsured

http://us.mobile.reuters.com/mobile/m/AnyArticle/p.rdt?URL=http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64I78X20100520

“In 2007, approximately one in five persons in the U.S. population had one or more emergency department visits in a 12-month period,” the report from the National Center for Health Statistics reads.

“Among the under-65 population, the uninsured were no more likely than the insured to have had at least one emergency department visit in a 12-month period.”

Tamyra Carroll Garcia and colleagues at the center used two large national surveys of healthcare use in 2007 for their study.

“Since 1996, demand for emergency services in the United States has been rising,” they wrote.

“While the number of emergency departments (EDs) across the country has decreased, the number of ED visits has increased. As a result, EDs are experiencing higher patient volume and overcrowding, and patients seeking care are experiencing longer wait times,” they added.

Let’s see, population is rising, number of ED’s decreasing, seems pretty natural that service levels would decrease. No need to blame the poor or undocumented, simple economics explains the problem. Not that that will stop anyone. In times of uncertainty folks are always looking for someone to blame.