News & Blog

The epidemic of ER overuse

By Chris Logan, Founder and CEO of Capsci Health

According to the latest stats, 20% of us went to the ER one or more times in 2012. And many of those made more than one visit in the year. That’s alarming.

January 1st of 2014 is when the ACA’s requirements for carrying health insurance went into effect but, as expected, the rate of visits to the ER is still too high. In fact, 75% of emergency room physicians polled say that since 2014, the number of ER visits has increased to some degree.

If too many use the ER for non-emergent issues, it dilutes the quality of care for those who really need it. So, how do we avoid defaulting to the ER frame of mind?
1) Make sure everyone is informed about their choices: set up a PCP visit, call the nurse hotline, set up a telehealth visit, go to the Urgent Care, etc.
2) Make sure everyone understands the financial implications. An ER visit costs the system more, whether you’re the patient, the insurance company, or the employers purchasing insurance.

Keeping our employees and health plan participants informed is critical to improving our health care situation.