Extreme costs, long reimbursement delays and high administrative burdens due to hefty Medicare cuts are generating a large increase in patients visiting Emergency Department waiting rooms. With a surge in Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients, Emergency Department waiting rooms are becoming the trending health insurance marketplace for new Obamacare customers. The "Get Covered" campaign is focusing efforts on patients waiting for Emergency Department services.
Before 2014, there were few options available to uninsured patients trying to pay for daunting hospital bills: either they forefronted the large cost or enrolled in unaffordable health coverage. With Obamacare, patients are rethinking their options to enroll in and receive health insurance instead of paying per visit to the ER.
Hospitals and insurance exchange recruiters are eager to get these patients waiting in emergency rooms to sign up for health coverage. When patients are eligible for subsidized, private insurance, hospitals receive high reimbursement rates based on the fee-for-services. As many states continue to allow adults under the poverty line to sign up for Medicaid, hospitals will be compensated for these treatments also.
Many patients who enter ER waiting rooms are still unaware of the Affordable Care Act, the penalties imposed on those unenrolled and are unsure how to find policies they are eligible for. Patients waiting and believed stable, can have the ability to fill out insurance application forms or learn about the process right in the ER room.
If hospitals and emergency waiting rooms utilize this trending health insurance marketplace inside of their facilities, they will not only educate patients, but also provide health insurance. When health insurance is provided and quality care is given, reimbursement rates rise. When facilities have high reimbursement rates, they are able to enhance technology and medical equipment and employ more physicians to meet the demands of increasing patients. Especially during the winter season, where many facilities are short-staffed, a locum tenens physician could be just the right addition to serve the influx of patients suffering from the flu, holiday injuries, and even frost bite from extreme temperatures.