Monday, February 22, 2010

Emergency Room Abuse

In the health care debate, much is made of the abuse of emergency rooms.

Laws require that emergency rooms provide care to all comers. The claim is that people abuse emergency rooms by using them for primary care.

If this is the case, then the Medical Savings and Loan structure would reduce the problem. Public assistance would provide access to guaranteed loans for a slate of medical conditions. A person receiving a public loan would be put on a repayment/savings program.

Although one would expect a high default rate on public medical loans, there is sufficent expectation of repayment that many of the people using emergency rooms for primary care would opt for the lower cost alternative of a clinic.

The money for the loans would come from the pool of money currently used to provide emergency room care. Having even some of the money paid back would make this amount of charitable funds go further.

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