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Thread: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    Wouldn't it be helpful to post the actual EMTALA laws for everyone to see?

    Here are excerpts from EMTALA:

    TITLE 42, CHAPTER 7, SUBCHAPTER XVIII, Part E, § 1395dd

    (a) Medical screening requirement

    In the case of a hospital that has a hospital emergency department, if any individual (whether or not eligible for benefits under this subchapter) comes to the emergency department and a request is made on the individual’s behalf for examination or treatment for a medical condition, the hospital must provide for an appropriate medical screening examination within the capability of the hospital’s emergency department, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department, to determine whether or not an emergency medical condition (within the meaning of subsection (e)(1) of this section) exists.

    (b) Necessary stabilizing treatment for emergency medical conditions and labor

    (1) In general
    If any individual (whether or not eligible for benefits under this subchapter) comes to a hospital and the hospital determines that the individual has an emergency medical condition, the hospital must provide either—
    (A) within the staff and facilities available at the hospital, for such further medical examination and such treatment as may be required to stabilize the medical condition, or
    (B) for transfer of the individual to another medical facility in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.


    [Sections c and d skipped for the sake of brevity.]


    e) Definitions
    In this section:
    (1) The term “emergency medical condition” means—
    (A) a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in—
    (i) placing the health of the individual (or, with respect to a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) in serious jeopardy,
    (ii) serious impairment to bodily functions, or
    (iii) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part; or

    (B) with respect to a pregnant woman who is having contractions—

    (i) that there is inadequate time to effect a safe transfer to another hospital before delivery, or
    (ii) that transfer may pose a threat to the health or safety of the woman or the unborn child.


    If I am not mistaken, nothing in EMTALA requires an emergency room staff to treat a patient for a non-emergency problem once the emergency room staff has determined that the patient has a non-emergency problem.

    If I am correct, then Pawlenty is mistaken about EMTALA needing changed.
    Pawlenty needs to be removed from office.

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    The hospital where Michelle Obama was on the board set up a program to try to do exactly this - divert people who really didn't belong in the ER to regular doctors.

    The right wingers screamed "patient dumping"!

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    The hospital where Michelle Obama was on the board set up a program to try to do exactly this - divert people who really didn't belong in the ER to regular doctors.

    The right wingers screamed "patient dumping"!
    misterman, do you have a link to a story that confirms what you say about "right wingers"?
    The height of wisdom is to say, "I do not know." -Socrates

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderRabbit08 View Post
    Is it really taking money without our consent? After all; if enacted into law, it was with our consent.

    The cheaper option is to establish after-hours urgent care clinics .. a great idea! .
    Medical care is a service.
    The hours of operation should be 24/7, so the clinics must be fairly large to economically have a full staff..
    I'd like to see no insurance companys involved, but a government subsidized system, similar to the VA.
    Every American citizen should have the same basic health care, there should not be such a huge gap between the "best" HC recieved (the President, Senators, Generals) and our American working man.
    But the working man must know how to apply a bandage, the President or CEO can pay $100 for this service.
    Another good idea is to have the idividual states handle the HC and keep the feds out of it....
    Pawlently does not present his idea that well, then the media twists and spins things..but he is thinking....

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    misterman, do you have a link to a story that confirms what you say about "right wingers"?
    michelle obama patient dumping - Google Search

    Scroll through it and you'll find plenty of right wing sources complaining about it. You'll have to wade through the responses explaining that they are full of crap though.

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Having been to the emergency room at least 15 or 20 times in my life and 4 times last year I know a little bit about how they work.

    The triage system evaluates treatment based most in need and likely hood of benefiting and recovering from immediate treatment.

    This is the time people with a minor condition such as a splinter or other problem treatable at home should be given instructions on how to deal with the issue and sent on their merry way. Those people are the ones who find they get to wait hours and hours for a band aid.

    If you show up with shortness of breath and chest pains your wait will be less than a few minutes guaranteed. I know this for a fact.

    But you still have the issue of what happens when the person who decides who is really in need makes a mistake and sends the wrong person away. Many problems that appear to be minor on the surface can be complicated by problems that are not readily visible at a certain point in time.

    In that case the cost to the hospital is going to be very high indeed.

    Pawlenty has an idea I just don't see it as the cure to high costs, and the current plans under consideration as I have said over and over fail to address the real issues at all.
    I agree.

    They should, then, expand the abilities (hire more people, train more efficiently, etc) and area for triage and have adequate, on staff care (like a walk-in clinic) for those who are not major - yet underlying condition might be found when they're actually examined by a doctor.

    Redirecting to a neighboring area, rather than turning away completely, will reduce the number of patients that an ER must see and tend to.

    More and more lately, though, it seems that they're demonizing doctors and patient care rather than holding it up as a revered practice. For someone to be so important it's surprising that there's so many dispassionate words being shared. (this is just a general statement based on attitudes towards doctors via media and politics - not in this thread).
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 02-27-10 at 10:14 AM.
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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    michelle obama patient dumping - Google Search

    Scroll through it and you'll find plenty of right wing sources complaining about it. You'll have to wade through the responses explaining that they are full of crap though.
    P.S. you can find people whining about this on this forum too.

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    michelle obama patient dumping - Google Search

    Scroll through it and you'll find plenty of right wing sources complaining about it. You'll have to wade through the responses explaining that they are full of crap though.
    Oh, OK. Thanks.
    The height of wisdom is to say, "I do not know." -Socrates

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    Oh, OK. Thanks.
    I'll bet you'll even see some of the same people who whined about Michelle Obama endorsing Pawlenty's proposal!

    Obama's was alot better - her hospital didn't just turn people away (it legally coudn't), it found doctors for the patients.

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    Re: Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    I'll bet you'll even see some of the same people who whined about Michelle Obama endorsing Pawlenty's proposal!

    Obama's was alot better - her hospital didn't just turn people away (it legally couldn't), it found doctors for the patients.
    misterman, you are correct. I found examples of whining by people who don't know what EMTALA actually requires of hospital emergency rooms.

    Nothing in EMTALA prevents an emergency room staff from sending established non-emergency cases to a health care provider outside of the emergency room.

    Being that I don't suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, I can correctly understand what the Urban Health Initiative is all about. It's about reducing the number of non-emergency cases handled by emergency rooms so that those emergency rooms handle more cases that are actual emergencies.
    The height of wisdom is to say, "I do not know." -Socrates

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