Hospital emergency rooms, the theory goes, get overcrowded because people without health insurance have no place else to go.
But that’s not the view of the doctors who staff those emergency departments.
The real problem, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians, isn’t caused by people who don’t have insurance — it’s caused by people who do, but still can’t find a doctor to treat them……Since these insured patients are more — not less — likely to use the emergency department, 89 percent of physicians in the survey said they believe the number of visits to emergency rooms will increase as the new health law is implemented. (The findings also echoed the results of a December survey of more than 600 emergency department administrators by the Schumacher Group.)
“The results are significant,” said ACEP President Sandra Schneider in prepared comments. “They confirm what we are witnessing in Massachusetts — that visits to emergency rooms are going to increase across the country, despite the advent of health care reform, and that health insurance coverage does not guarantee access to medical care.”