Supporters of the healthcare reform legislation passed by Congress claim it will reduce emergency room visits by providing nearly all Americans with the insurance they can use to see a primary care physician.
A new poll says otherwise.
The survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) found that 97 percent of doctors every day treat Medicaid patients in their emergency departments because the patients could not find a doctor willing to treat them for the fee Medicaid would pay.
If Obamacare provides insurance that reimburses physicians at Medicaid rates, visits to the ER will likely increase, according to ACEP.
In fact, 89 percent of doctors polled said they believe ER visits will increase under Obamacare.
“This poll confirms what we are witnessing in Massachusetts – that visits to emergency rooms are going to increase across the country, despite healthcare reform, and that health insurance coverage does not guarantee access to medical care,” said ACEP President Sandra Schneider.
Hundreds of emergency rooms across the country have been forced to shut down due to financial concerns, increasing the workload at those remaining open, and the healthcare reform law fails to address this issue, Dr. Schneider said.
Nearly half of the physicians surveyed in ACEP’s poll said fear of lawsuits is the biggest challenge to cutting costs in emergency rooms, and 53 percent said their fear of lawsuits was the main reason for ordering many of the tests they perform.