An influx of newly insured patients is just one reason emergency room traffic continues to go up in the age of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”), according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lack of access to primary care providers in general is especially problematic among Medicaid patients; often, they find access to be untimely, at a median wait time of 2 weeks for an appointment—if a conveniently located PCP accepts new Medicaid patients at all. Tracking with data from other studies reported here, many of these patients could be treated safely and more quickly, at a lower cost, in an urgent care center. All this could prove to be sound rationale when trying to establish referral relationships with area primary care offices and EDs.
Emergency Room Traffic Continues to Grow Under ACA