News Headlines Article

As more people get insured, ER visits increase
UT San Diego

As an attending physician in the emergency department at Sharp Memorial Hospital, Dr. Keith Yablonicky has seen it all.

And as someone who works daily in the ER, he also sees many cases that could best be treated elsewhere, such as those who come in with coughs and colds, rashes or chronic conditions.

“It makes me happy that nothing’s wrong,” he said of non-emergency patients who come to the ER, “but it adds to the number of patients in the waiting room.”

With more people newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, some emergency physicians say there has been an increase in patients using the ER when they should be seeing a primary care doctor or visiting an urgent care center.