Earlier today, Assemblyman Dave Jones chaired an informational hearing of the Assembly Health Committee had a hearing on emergency room access.
There was a lot of talk about minimizing “avoidable” emergency room use, to lessen the overcrowding in emergency rooms. There’s probably a distinction between the use of the emergency room for non-emergency purposes, and emergency care that could have been avoided if the patient got care earlier.
Part of the solution was being heard just a day earlier at the Department of Managed Health Care, which considered regulations on timely access to care. Recent research suggests the increase in emergency room use is not from uninsured but insured patients. Part of the problem is that people, not being able to get appropriate triage or timely access to a primary care doctor or a specialist, end up needlessly in the emergency room.
It’s nice that at least part of the solution to the problem is finally close to implementation, and to able to report that to the Assembly Health Committee.