Lack of access to follow-up care is a top concern that influences the decision of emergency physicians to admit particularly fragile patients, rather than take a chance that they will fall through the cracks and suffer harm.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 06 – June 2013
“The RAND report shows a serious need for follow-up care in our health care system,” said Dr. Alex Rosenau, President-elect of ACEP. “Physicians can’t in good conscience send people home when they know their patients won’t be able to get their medications, don’t have any support from family or friends, and can’t get follow-up medical visits. Emergency physicians coordinate transitions of care every day in hospitals across the country, filling the gaping holes in our health care system.”
The report recommends hospital administrators, policymakers, payers, and federal research agencies recognize the current reality in emergency departments and the role they play in coordinating care. The 4 percent of America’s doctors who staff hospital emergency departments provide;
- 11 percent of all the outpatient visits in the United States,
- 28 percent of all acute care visits,
- half of the acute care visits by Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries and
- two-thirds of all acute care visits by the uninsured.
The RAND Corporation is a non-profit, non-governmental research organization.