View Poll Results: Should the hospital treat you or wait until they know if you can pay

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  • The hospital should treat you

    31 86.11%
  • They should find out if you can pay before treating you

    2 5.56%
  • Rutabaga

    3 8.33%
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Thread: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

  1. #21
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    You don't need to put "faking" in quotations when I'm referring specifically to the patients who literally do fake it.

    There are several ways to determine that people do not need emergency medical treatment. The first is triaging. They already triage, but they over admit, presumably because the law requires it. Emergency physicians shouldn't have to rule out serious issues with expensive diagnostic tests when there are subjective mild complaints and no real evidence of any medical emergency. They should just point to the exit. Emergency rooms should be for objective, observable emergencies. This thread asks about people unconscious from their injuries/illness, which is objective and observable.

    Another thing they shouldn't do is admit so many people who have drugs or alcohol on board who are presenting with probable effects of intoxication.

    Police departments also shouldn't be required to medically clear inebriates through the ER before taking them to the drunk tank. I'm assuming someone was sued because some people died in the drunk tank. Who cares? That is no reason to legally require police to put all drunks through the ER before dealing with them. Deal with them cheaply. Abuse drugs and alcohol at your own risk.
    I used the quotes because there is no definitive way of knowing. I work at a hospital and spend a lot of time in the ER. There has been numerous times that a person came in with a headache to find out that they are about to stroke out or have a tumor. As far as the drunk, that is just a difference of opinion between the two of us. I think we should treat people who need to be treated even if the problem is caused by their stupidity.

  2. #22
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    You decide you need a little fresh air, so you go outside for a little stroll. Because you don't expect to be out long, or do anything of note, you leave without your wallet or purse and have no identification on you.

    While you're walking, a car goes out of control, jumps the curb and mows you down. You're knocked unconscious and you have several life-threatening injuries. An ambulance quickly arrives, scoops you up and brings you to the hospital where they have no idea who you are or if you are able to pay for the care you need.

    Should the hospital treat you or should they wait until they can make certain you can your bill for the care they're going to give you?

    Just a refresher for some of the more important points:

    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    For the situation you describe it seems painfully obvious what the hospital should do. Of course they should treat first in that situation and figure out insurance and payment later. I would imagine in most cases like that, the person has insurance anyway and the hospital gets paid in the end. I know if that happened to me my insurance would pay and I would be happy to pay the deductible and co-pays to the hospital for saving my life. And the person driving the car would be paying up too. If the hospital does treat someone that doesn't have insurance and/or the means to pay, it is roughly analogous to a retail store having to deal with theft. It happens and they have to raise their prices to cover it.

  3. #23
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Amandi View Post
    I used the quotes because there is no definitive way of knowing. I work at a hospital and spend a lot of time in the ER. There has been numerous times that a person came in with a headache to find out that they are about to stroke out or have a tumor. As far as the drunk, that is just a difference of opinion between the two of us. I think we should treat people who need to be treated even if the problem is caused by their stupidity.
    A drunk doesn't need emergency treatment for having the mental status of an intoxicated person. It's not a medical emergency and there is no real medically necessary treatment for it. Furthermore, emergency room social workers can't get a reliable read on a person's mental status or psychiatric conditions when those presentations are likely influenced or caused by the direct physiological effects of a substance. It's a pitiful waste of time and resources.

    If we lay our emergency medical treatment out there like a doormat, it will be treated like one.

    But again, in the grand scheme of things, I acknowledge that this opinion is somewhat nitpicky and specific to ERs, given that the percentage of overall health care expenditures being incurred by emergency departments is actually quite small.

  4. #24
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    A drunk doesn't need emergency treatment for having the mental status of an intoxicated person. It's not a medical emergency and there is no real medically necessary treatment for it. Furthermore, emergency room social workers can't get a reliable read on a person's mental status or psychiatric conditions when those presentations are likely influenced or caused by the direct physiological effects of a substance. It's a pitiful waste of time and resources.

    If we lay our emergency medical treatment out there like a doormat, it will be treated like one.

    But again, in the grand scheme of things, I acknowledge that this opinion is somewhat nitpicky and specific to ERs, given that the percentage of overall health care expenditures being incurred by emergency departments is actually quite small.
    Actually, the checking of a drunk person just because they are drunk, I could agree to not allowing in ER's. I think any medic could do that. Have a trained person watch the "drunk tank" and make sure no one is having an adverse reaction. IF they do and it needs an ER then an ambulance can be called. If something happens on the way, then I agree with you to the extent of saying their choice caused their problem and not the police.

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    A drunk doesn't need emergency treatment for having the mental status of an intoxicated person. It's not a medical emergency and there is no real medically necessary treatment for it. Furthermore, emergency room social workers can't get a reliable read on a person's mental status or psychiatric conditions when those presentations are likely influenced or caused by the direct physiological effects of a substance. It's a pitiful waste of time and resources.

    If we lay our emergency medical treatment out there like a doormat, it will be treated like one.

    But again, in the grand scheme of things, I acknowledge that this opinion is somewhat nitpicky and specific to ERs, given that the percentage of overall health care expenditures being incurred by emergency departments is actually quite small.
    I've never heard of any police dept having a policy of taking all drunk and intoxicated people to an ER before locking them up. Also, of the many cases I know of where the police locked up an intoxicated person, the # of people who were first brought to an ER was zero
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    The act in question raises the cost of care and assumes that you have a right to the labor of others. Obviously the law is unfit and should be repealed.

  7. #27
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    Not only should they treat you, they will definitely treat you. The problem with ER's is that so many people use them for non-emergent problems, and they don't pay.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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  8. #28
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Oh my, the lengths that one goes through to invent a trickier than usual case. I guess that is easier than dealing with the issue of payment for 99.9% of the typical cases.
    True I wasnt at all talking about the people that you are talking about. Thats the beauty of having my own mind, I can specifically talk about what I want to assert.

    My point was that a one size fits all mentality can never address the complicated issue of emergency healthcare.

    Before you get carried away with further talk, let me point out some things.

    Using ER's as clinics to treat non-emergency cases is a total waste of everyone's time and money. No one should get a free ride. Resources do not just appear out of thin air. But that doesnt mean that we need to be a cold cruel society that lets people die because they lack the funds to save their life. Nobody is going to be sitting around dying thinking "oh well I cant afford the care I need to survive and I wouldnt want to burden anyone else. So goodbye everyone!" AT least give the poor bastard a low interest loan for him to pay off when he gets better. But even that wont do any good until we get a hold of the outrageous prices in every aspect of medical care. When I had my entire cancerous thyroid removed and I looked at my bill I couldnt believe that the oxygen hose cost me 180 odd bucks. I bought plenty of the same hose for my Mom and it was a far cry from that price.

  9. #29
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    True I wasnt at all talking about the people that you are talking about. Thats the beauty of having my own mind, I can specifically talk about what I want to assert.

    My point was that a one size fits all mentality can never address the complicated issue of emergency healthcare.

    Before you get carried away with further talk, let me point out some things.

    Using ER's as clinics to treat non-emergency cases is a total waste of everyone's time and money. No one should get a free ride. Resources do not just appear out of thin air. But that doesnt mean that we need to be a cold cruel society that lets people die because they lack the funds to save their life. Nobody is going to be sitting around dying thinking "oh well I cant afford the care I need to survive and I wouldnt want to burden anyone else. So goodbye everyone!" AT least give the poor bastard a low interest loan for him to pay off when he gets better. But even that wont do any good until we get a hold of the outrageous prices in every aspect of medical care. When I had my entire cancerous thyroid removed and I looked at my bill I couldnt believe that the oxygen hose cost me 180 odd bucks. I bought plenty of the same hose for my Mom and it was a far cry from that price.
    That price inflation is the result of thousands of "free" ER visits and patching up the gang bangers/illegal aliens. The problem is that even with PPACA there will be 30 million uninsured crowding into the ERs for "free" care. Look how RomneyCare worked in MA; the ER use actually went up after "everybody" got insured.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  10. #30
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    You decide you need a little fresh air, so you go outside for a little stroll. Because you don't expect to be out long, or do anything of note, you leave without your wallet or purse and have no identification on you.

    While you're walking, a car goes out of control, jumps the curb and mows you down. You're knocked unconscious and you have several life-threatening injuries. An ambulance quickly arrives, scoops you up and brings you to the hospital where they have no idea who you are or if you are able to pay for the care you need.

    Should the hospital treat you or should they wait until they can make certain you can your bill for the care they're going to give you?

    Just a refresher for some of the more important points:

    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    Doesn't make much sense considering you posted the answer in the thread title (EMTALA). And that is precisely what the act mandates. In truth, number 2 makes it really difficult for treating personnel. Not because of the payment issue but because they have no idea of allergies or drug contraindications. Makes treating your condition a crapshoot.

    Generally with true medical emergencies ER's triage them to the top of the list and at the same time the admitting personnel try to identify and hunt down insurance info.

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