An expansion of Medicaid, which is part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is bringing more patients to emergency rooms.
E-R-’s have become a last resort for some Medicaid patients, who usually don’t make much money.
Many of them are losing access to doctors who’ve cut-back on the number of Medicaid patients because reimbursements don’t cover their costs. Vancouver Clinic announced recently it will no longer accept new Medicaid patients.
According to Tim Strickland, a spokesman for Peacehealth, the number of Medicaid patients at their emergency room in Vancouver during the first quarter of this year increased by an average of six-hundred per month compared with the 4th quarter of 2013. He says much of that, about two-thirds, was offset by a drop in uninsured patients in the emergency room.
Strickland says they’re still analyzing and evaluating the financial impact of the increase.