Since instituting mandatory health insurance for all residents of Massachusette’s, a recent study finds that one of the plan’s goals of connecting more patients with PCPs has failed miserably. Accordign to the Boston Globe,
Thousands of newly insured Massachusetts residents are relying on emergency rooms for routine medical care, an expensive habit that drives up healthcare costs and thwarts a major goal of the state’s first-in-the-nation health insurance law.
The law framers had hoped that instituting mandatory health insurance, would open the door to primary care offices for many previously unisnured patients. But instead what they are finding is that these patients are still using ERs as their primary care, increasing the burden on overworked ERs.
People flock to ERs for primary care because they are accesible, convenient, don’t require upfront payment prior to evaluation and as a bonus, you can get a “free ride” by calling an ambulance. It’s clear that the solution to these times of problems do not rely directly with health care insurance, but rather health care access.
Do these results surprise anyone? Certainly no one who works on the front lines in the ER…