News Headlines Article

New health-care law may prompt more people to come back home for medical care
Washington Post

If you get sick at night or the weekend, all too often the local emergency room is the only medical facility with an open door. You may know that your regular doctor could treat your asthma or that nagging cough, but you wind up in the emergency room because your symptoms inconveniently occurred outside regular business hours.

A study this month in Health Affairs found that Americans bypass their primary-care doctor more than half the time when they have an acute problem. The study found that 28 percent of visits for acute care occurred in the emergency room between 2001 and 2004. Another 20 percent were handled by specialists.