Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has been at the forefront of resolving the problems related to backlogs in emergency care for patients visiting hospital emergency rooms. Given that more than one-third of patients who are admitted to hospitals for urgent care are not truly suffering from a medical emergency, there has been a call to action in the medical field to address the burden on emergency rooms across the country. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has extensive experience as an emergency physician and reports that he has seen this phenomenon in action more than a hundred times over.
According to Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, the root of the problem with overburdening emergency rooms is the lack of access to primary care in almost every community. He explains that patients find themselves with no other place to turn but the hospital emergency room for issues that do not require urgent attention. This is a serious drain on the resources of those facilities and puts other patients at risk of not being able to receive the care that they urgently need. While every effort is made to address the concerns of all patients who register at a hospital emergency room, Dr. Eric Forsthoefel explains that there is a finite amount of time and resources to go around.
This problem is even more serious among low-income patients because they are more likely to see the hospital emergency room as their only option for being guaranteed access to affordable medical care in a timely fashion. Patients who do not have private medical insurance are three times more likely to visit the emergency room for a non-urgent medical condition than those who have adequate insurance coverage. Medicaid regulations make it challenging for some patients to find doctors close to their homes who are willing to accept patients on Medicaid. It is also the case that patients on Medicaid may be able to avoid having to pay for specialized services for which they would otherwise front a large co-pay by receiving those services on an urgent basis while in the emergency room.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has done a fine job of shedding light on this issue that continues to plague hospitals all over. Despite the best efforts of health care professionals, there may come a point when emergency rooms simply cannot keep up with the demand of patients who do not necessarily need urgent care. Raising awareness of this issue will hopefully garner support for additional funding of primary care facilities to alleviate the heavy burden on hospital emergency rooms. The convenience of access to care for patients in urban and rural areas alike is a critical consideration in rolling out any systemic solution to the lack of primary care options.