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Should a Hospital be allowed to close their ER if there are no other local hospitals?

A local debate, but sparked a question... Should a hospital have the option to not take emergency patients? What happens with all the emergency patients if they can't drive the hour to another hospital? What's the point of a hospital (that already has no maternity ward) without an ER?

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 5:03 PM on Jun. 29, 2010 in Health

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • If there are no other hospitals, no they shouldn't be able to close.

    Answer by Christine0813 at 5:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • It's sad to see, but I can't blame them. Hospitals are a business just like any other. If one is in an area that has a number of people uninsured, and they are not allowed to turn away patients - how can they stay in business? I've heard about this more over the last few years, hospitals are forced to stop taking the kind of patients that cost the most and are giving the least amount in return. It sounds cold, but it's reality.

    Answer by Scuba at 5:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • It's a private business. If they don't have the revenue to support maintaining a hospital, then by all means they should close their doors. There are also regulations on the amount of staff you have to have available, response times, etc...perhaps they are unable to meet those requirements?

    An hour drive to a hospital is nothing in some areas.

    Answer by BuddyRoo at 5:08 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • It's because of ppl that treat the emergancy room like a doctor's office and those are the ones without insurance and/or medicaid/medicare. Now before everyone jumps down my throat.....Medicaid/medicare pays a substancial amount less than private insurances. ER's loss 30% or more on those patients and then you add in the uninsured...Creats a finacial mess! You can't keep treating sore throats, rashes, fevers, and GI illness in an ER for those that are uninsured or state insured and expect to stay afloat. Most of those that are privately insured pay a co-pay (which is higher than normal) for the ER, so they choose to call their primary care and get an office visit.
    So they close the ER, which is a money pit and keep the more lucrative surgery area's open. It makes business sense to me.

    Answer by momsbreak5654 at 5:16 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

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