Comments from the leader of a new healthcare task force on Capitol Hill have prompted the American College of Emergency Physicians to defend emergency care in the U.S. as very cost-efficient.
On March 5, members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition established the Blue Dog Health Care Task Force, which aims to promote healthcare reform legislation that puts the country back on a fiscally sustainable path, according to a news release that also said, The costs of the uninsured treated in emergency rooms are being passed on to hospitals and eventually on to consumers, perpetuating the cycle of rising health costs in America.
Mike Baldyga, public relations manager for the ACEP, said the association learned of the news release about a week later. Responding, ACEP President Nick Jouriles said emergency medicine represents less than 3% of the nations $1.5 trillion in healthcare expenditures, and emergency care is both advanced and highly efficient. Other physicians send patients to emergency departments because they need to make quick diagnoses, Jouriles said in an ACEP news release. They do this because emergency physicians can command the resources of the hospital, such as diagnostic equipment and consultants, he added. Emergency departments have extra standby costs, because the facilities are open 24/7.