Don’t see the value of free-stand­ing ERs

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing “Free-stand­ing ERs eye lob­by­ing to win state ap­proval for growth” (July 6, p. 14), as a San An­to­nio physi­cian, I have seen these free- stand­ing emer­gency rooms pop up ev­ery few miles in af­flu­ent ar­eas. In a city with plenty of hos­pi­tals, I see no valid need for these busi­nesses. Real emer­gen­cies should still go to hos­pi­tal-as­so­ci­ated ERs. The other prob­lems can easily be treated at ur­gent­care cen­ters that are also plen­ti­ful and much less ex­pen­sive than ERs.

As some­one who has no fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests ei­ther way, in these times of try­ing to de­crease med­i­cal ex­penses, more pa­tients in ERs will in­crease healthcare premi­ums for all of us. Out­pa­tient surgery cen­ters are much less ex­pen­sive than hos­pi­tals and are not anal­o­gous to free-stand­ing ERs.

Dr. Robert Luedecke San An­to­nio

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