- Many of the hospitals with the busiest ERs in 2013 are reporting even higher volumes in 2014 despite the nation's declining uninsured rate.
- The issue is failure of access to care, according to Modern Healthcare. Millions of Americans now have medical coverage, but because primary-care doctors are closing their offices and not accepting Medicare patients, even mild health crises are being pointed toward the ER.
- Analysts also say the trend of rising ER visits will continue until the newly-insured get away from the cultural norm of waiting until they're sick and then seeking ER care.
It's no surprise that access to care is an issue; as Dr. Howard Mell, a practicing ER physician in northeast Ohio and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians told Modern Healthcare, "Obamacare isn't failing, but we knew it wouldn't handle ER visits."
Although ACOs and other coordinated care efforts (such as the recent announcement that Medicare will pay to coordinate care for seniors) continue to attempt to push the needle towards preventative care, ERs will need to continue seeking solutions to manage volume and overuse.