One of the ACA’s (Affordable Care Act) projected benefits was a reduced demand on ERs (emergency rooms) in states such as Kentucky. But the number of visits sustains to be generally the same after 3 years of the ACA implementation.
This fact is in accordance to the new report from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. While their findings might be disappointing to few, Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation, stated that the old habits can die hard.
Chandler said, "I consider it is a little bit of a cultural thing in Kentucky, to start with. I think it consumes a little time though to get individuals out of their normal patterns."
Chandler further added that increased tragedies of opioid use and overdoses also are considered to have increased the number of ER visits in recent years.
The proportion of emergency room (ER) visits reported by hospitals as charity care or self-pay dropped from 23% in the year of 2012 to less than 6% by the end of 2016 year, in accordance to the findings of report. The decrease of uncompensated care has lightened the economical burden on the hospitals of state.
If the Congressional Budget Office's analysis is correct, the health coverage’s loss for thousands in the Bluegrass State will not make the shift away from emergency care any easier, Chandler said.
He said, "That will be an issue as far as ER use is concerned and many other things. When you have insurance, you are going to be more likely to get care the right way."
Chandler and other medical professional emphasize citizens to get preventive care from a doctor, or in more acute sicknesses, urgent care, before visiting the emergency room where visits can be expensive and the demand detracts from life threatening emergencies.