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Hospital charging for non emergency visits. Story in the first reply.

Posted by on May. 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM
  • 275 Replies
A hospital in Oklahoma will begin assessing patients and if they are found to be there for a non emergency they will be given the choice to leave or pay upfront the equivalent of their copay or 200 if not insured or on insurance with no copay. Once the fee is paid, they will then be provided treatment.

What is your opinion on this? The hospital's reason is because it treats an excess number of non emergencies and the er being too full to treat true emergencies, having to divert ambulances elsewhere.

Opinions?
by on May. 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
VooDooB
by weird cheese on May. 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Here you go OP:


OKLAHOMA CITY -

An up front fee for emergency rooms. Starting Tuesday, O.U. Medical Center ER will charge a fee for non-emergencies.

Doctors will decide if you are there for a real emergency. If not you can stay and pay or leave. O.U. Med has found it cares for 50,000 people each year in the emergency room. Forty percent of which do not actually require emergency care, causing overcrowding and O.U. Med to implement a new program.

Spurs and all, Bullet. "That's what most people would know me by," said Kingfisher resident Darrell "Bullet" Bullard.

Now he spends his time volunteering for community events such as drawing Sooner state scenes.

"Oklahoma's the greatest place I ever saw," said Bullet.

He does so to say thank you for the support from friends and family. Twelve years ago, the mother of his four children had a seizure while driving. She died on impact and the four children where rushed to the hospital. One son had to be taken to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City but that ER was overcrowded so his son was flown to Tulsa.

"That scared me to death. I sure hate to think that big nice hospitals like that and we don't have room for a real emergency," said Bullet.

Four kids in three locations. Bullet and his family have since recovered. As for OU Med, officials hope they've found the cure to problems like Bullet's.

"Our ER need to spend time with our high risk, real emergency patients and not with the low risk non-emergency patients," said Dr. Steinhart with OU Medical System.

OU Chief Medical Officer Dr. Curt Steinhart insures OU's new screening program.

"Fully compliant to federal law and no risk to patients," said Dr. Steinhart.

Under the new program, patients will enter the ER and go through a screening. If it's a true emergency, the patient stays. If not, pay an insurance co-pay or for the non-insured, pay a $200 fee.

"An amount that will focus on them really deciding do they need to be seen here and now," said Dr. Steinhart.

If the patient doesn't want to pay, then OU Med will provide a list of nearby urgent care clinics.

"Not only is the ER the wrong place for these patients but it's not as good as care and it's more expensive," said Dr. Steinhart.

Bullet just hopes this move by OU Med, works.

"I hope nothing like this ever happens to anyone else," said Bullet.

O.U. Med is not the first hospital in the nation to use this program, which has drawn some criticism from advocates stating in a published report, "this strategy could discourage patients from going to the ER for true emergencies."

Here is a list of when you should go to the Emergency Room according to OU Medical Center:

  • - Chest pain or upper abdominal pain that lasts at least 2 minutes.
  • - Uncontrolled bleeding
  • - Sudden or severe pain
  • - Coughing or vomiting blood
  • - Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • - Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
  • - Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • - Change in mental status such as confusion
  • - Difficulty speaking
  • - Unusual abdominal pain
  • - Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • - Changes in vision

Here is the list of when you should go to Urgent Care:

  • - Sprained ankle
  • - Ear infections
  • - Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • - Allergic reactions
  • - Minor burns or injuries
  • - Broken bones
  • - Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • - Animal bites

http://www.news9.com/story/25496818/ou-medical-center-er-to-charge-fee-for-non-emergency-visits


momeraide
by Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM
Thanks. I don't have a computer at the moment and wasn't able to link it the way people like it to be linked.

Quoting VooDooB:

Here you go OP:

OKLAHOMA CITY -

An up front fee for emergency rooms. Starting Tuesday, O.U. Medical Center ER will charge a fee for non-emergencies.

Doctors will decide if you are there for a real emergency. If not you can stay and pay or leave. O.U. Med has found it cares for 50,000 people each year in the emergency room. Forty percent of which do not actually require emergency care, causing overcrowding and O.U. Med to implement a new program.

Spurs and all, Bullet. "That's what most people would know me by," said Kingfisher resident Darrell "Bullet" Bullard.

Now he spends his time volunteering for community events such as drawing Sooner state scenes.

"Oklahoma's the greatest place I ever saw," said Bullet.

He does so to say thank you for the support from friends and family. Twelve years ago, the mother of his four children had a seizure while driving. She died on impact and the four children where rushed to the hospital. One son had to be taken to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City but that ER was overcrowded so his son was flown to Tulsa.

"That scared me to death. I sure hate to think that big nice hospitals like that and we don't have room for a real emergency," said Bullet.

Four kids in three locations. Bullet and his family have since recovered. As for OU Med, officials hope they've found the cure to problems like Bullet's.

"Our ER need to spend time with our high risk, real emergency patients and not with the low risk non-emergency patients," said Dr. Steinhart with OU Medical System.

OU Chief Medical Officer Dr. Curt Steinhart insures OU's new screening program.

"Fully compliant to federal law and no risk to patients," said Dr. Steinhart.

Under the new program, patients will enter the ER and go through a screening. If it's a true emergency, the patient stays. If not, pay an insurance co-pay or for the non-insured, pay a $200 fee.

"An amount that will focus on them really deciding do they need to be seen here and now," said Dr. Steinhart.

If the patient doesn't want to pay, then OU Med will provide a list of nearby urgent care clinics.

"Not only is the ER the wrong place for these patients but it's not as good as care and it's more expensive," said Dr. Steinhart.

Bullet just hopes this move by OU Med, works.

"I hope nothing like this ever happens to anyone else," said Bullet.

O.U. Med is not the first hospital in the nation to use this program, which has drawn some criticism from advocates stating in a published report, "this strategy could discourage patients from going to the ER for true emergencies."

Here is a list of when you should go to the Emergency Room according to OU Medical Center:

  • - Chest pain or upper abdominal pain that lasts at least 2 minutes.
  • - Uncontrolled bleeding
  • - Sudden or severe pain
  • - Coughing or vomiting blood
  • - Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • - Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
  • - Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • - Change in mental status such as confusion
  • - Difficulty speaking
  • - Unusual abdominal pain
  • - Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • - Changes in vision

Here is the list of when you should go to Urgent Care:

  • - Sprained ankle
  • - Ear infections
  • - Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • - Allergic reactions
  • - Minor burns or injuries
  • - Broken bones
  • - Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • - Animal bites

http://www.news9.com/story/25496818/ou-medical-center-er-to-charge-fee-for-non-emergency-visits

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on May. 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM
4 moms liked this

The copay has always been expected to be paid up front.  As for non insured people paying a portion of their bill upfront for non emergency care, I don't have an issue with it.  Given the time wasted on treating non emergencies as well as the number of people that seek out the hospital in order to avoid paying I think it's a reasonable expectation to keep down expenses as well as abuse of their emergency rooms.  

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM
1 mom liked this

I kind of take issue with sprained ankle. How would someone know if it was a sprain or a break?

Otherwise, i think people...not just uninsured people...go the the ER too much.

momeraide
by Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM
I think the fee is in addition to the copay.

Quoting 4evrinbluejeans:

The copay has always been expected to be paid up front.  As for non insured people paying a portion of their bill upfront for non emergency care, I don't have an issue with it.  Given the time wasted on treating non emergencies as well as the number of people that seek out the hospital in order to avoid paying I think it's a reasonable expectation to keep down expenses as well as abuse of their emergency rooms.  

KaleaLani
by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM
1 mom liked this
Well... here's the thing.... my insurance covers "emergency room visits" and I have no copay. If the hospital charges me $200 for the staple they put in my daughter's scalp (bleeding stopped but there was a gaping hole in the skin) because they decided it wasn't "emergency" enough, are they going to try to charge my insurance too? That sounds a bit like trying double dip to me.
momeraide
by Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:33 AM
They will give them the option to go elsewhere if it's just a sprain. They'll only be charged if they agree to be treated there.

Quoting UpSheRises:

I kind of take issue with sprained ankle. How would someone know if it was a sprain or a break?


Otherwise, i think people...not just uninsured people...go the the ER too much.

booaura
by on May. 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM
5 moms liked this
Good!! I work in the ER. We are overworked because we have so much crap that just isn't ER worthy. Hang nails, sore throats, fevers below 101, stuffy noses, dental pain. Go to your doctor. Don't overload already overworked, understaffed individuals in the ER. We are here for emergencies. If you have time to bitch about your wait time, you don't need to be in the ER. If you have time to call ahead and check how long the wait is, you don't need to be here. If you can afford to say no, you don't want a certain doctor, you don't need to be here. If the first words out of your mouth are a demand for food or coffee, you don't need to be here. And if you don't need to be here, and you can't pay, go home. Hospitals lose major dollars due to ER visits that are never paid. Nurses and physicians and supplies pick up the slack, resulting in lower standards of care and decreased patient safety, because we just don't have any other option. Press Ganey is another demon that needs to die and is hitting ER's hard, and is very detrimental to patient care.

Ok, rant over. But yes, I think making non-emergent patients pay up front is a splendid idea that should be taken on nation wide.
VooDooB
by weird cheese on May. 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

I figured that was the case. No worries. :)

I agree with the decision to an extent. I took my little boy in one night the first time he had croup because I had no freaking idea what was wrong with him and I was really scared. Turned out it could have been treated at home if I knew any better by sticking his head in the freezer. But I didn't know. And if I had to do it all over, I'd probably take him in again. It's fine if I had to pay.

Quoting momeraide: Thanks. I don't have a computer at the moment and wasn't able to link it the way people like it to be linked.


 

"Hang on, let me send a PM to Jesus so he can join this name calling ignorance ...he's into that these days ...at least according to his peeps."
- sak

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on May. 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

That's not how the article explains and it and their contract with the insurance carrier would preclude them from charging the patient more than the copay.  The article states the copay would be due if it is deemed a non emergency OR the noninsured would be charged a $200 fee (which is essentially a payment towards services).  

Quoting momeraide: I think the fee is in addition to the copay.
Quoting 4evrinbluejeans:

The copay has always been expected to be paid up front.  As for non insured people paying a portion of their bill upfront for non emergency care, I don't have an issue with it.  Given the time wasted on treating non emergencies as well as the number of people that seek out the hospital in order to avoid paying I think it's a reasonable expectation to keep down expenses as well as abuse of their emergency rooms.  


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