Lots of patients with health insurance are going to emergency rooms because they have delayed care because of high out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and co-insurance, says a survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
The survey found that seven out of ten emergency room doctors asked reported seeing patients who delayed seeking care because of costs. And two-thirds said that primary-care physicians send patients to ERs for medical tests or procedures that insurance won’t cover during office visits.
“Many patients are motivated by fear of costs and not by the seriousness of their medical conditions,” ACEP president Jay Kaplan, M.D., said in criticizing insurers for shifting more costs to patients and providers. “They call it cost-cutting when in reality it is profit-boosting.”
U.S. physicians, the world’s best paid, do not mention the role of their own fees in such insurance-coverage problems.