Friday, October 12, 2012

Hospitals Demand Payment Upfront From ER Patients With Routine Problems

Kaiser Health News published an article on payments upfront in the Emergency Room. The was article titled: "Hospitals Demand Payment Upfront From ER Patients With Routine Problems"

Article Overview:
  • Growing number of hospitals have implemented the pay-first policy this was to reduce the number of individuals with routine illnesses from the ER.
  • Federally required screening is done
  • Half of all hospitals in the United States now charge upfront ER fees
  • Emergency-room doctors and patient advocates blast the policy as potentially harmful to patients
  • Hospitals turn away uninsured patients who often fail to pay their bills and are a drag on profits
  • Dr. David Seaberg, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, who estimated that 2 to 7 percent of patients screened in ERs and found not to have serious problems are admitted to hospitals within 24 hours.
  • A 2010 Health Affairs study found that 27 percent of those visiting ERs could be treated more cost-effectively at doctors' offices or clinics.
Outcome of Payments Upfront:
  • Decline in wait times since it implemented upfront payments.
  • One hospital implemented a 24-hour on-call nurse triage system to assist the patient whether to go to the ER or a nearby clinic
  • 75 percent of patients with non-emergencies left the facility instead of paying the upfront fee.
To view the full article, please go to the following link: Hospitals Demand Payment Upfront From ER Patients With Routine Problems

For additional billing and coding resources, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement, Inc. Resources

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