In response to Jennifer Lubells Congress eyes IT to fund ER pay bump":
I have been in the healthcare field for more than 30 years and can say that this legislation is 30 years overdue.
For too long, emergency departments have been used for nonemergent services by people who do not have insurance or do not want to pay for care. Since doctors are required to see all patients that present, it has put a huge burden on these facilities and endangered those who really need the care because coverage is limited.
Increasing reimbursement from the government will certainly help but the practices of private insurers such as HMOs that force hospitals to compel the emergency department doctors to participate with them at fees under or slightly above Medicare should be investigated. These practices allow these carriers to make increased profits as reported by them annually, while the government has to increase payment to allow for adequate payment to cover cost.
Michael RittermanBurlington, N.J.
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