Emergent Care Utilization

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Emergent Care Utilization Student’s Name Institution Abstract There has been an increase in non-urgent patient visits to EDs in the recent past. Lack of an insurance cover is one of the major reasons for the visits. The EDs are viewed as a last resort for the uninsured and those, not a position to pay for the various outpatient services in the community. This situation is largely due to the EMTALA act of 1986 which holds that patients have to be given the necessary evaluation and screening as well as stabilization treatment once they check into the ED no matter their ability or inability to pay. The other reasons include the convenience and accessibility associated with the ED. Many patients also believe that their conditions are severe when they are not. The consequences of the increased visits include high medical costs; increased overcrowding which leads to increased waiting times for the patients, impaired treatment, and evaluations, and decreased confidentiality and privacy protection; and reduced quality of care. Keywords: ED, EMTALA The emergency departments (ED) are a critical aspect of any health care system. Predominantly used for emergency services to those at risk of suffering permanent health damage or losing their life, their role has evolved with time (Shi & Singh, 2014). They are usually at the forefront in supporting communities’ efforts in solving public health emergencies arising from various communicable diseases, and responses to mass-casualty events, defined as the visits for sickness levels or conditions where a few hours’ delay would not be life-threatening (Pines et al., 2013). According to Pitts et al., (2008), there were over

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