After her fall and delivery by EMTs to the hospital, several hours later she was, because she did not meet Medicare criteria, denied hospital admission. As in Mr. Thomasson’s story, being immobile and in need of pain control does not get a Medicare patient into the hospital. Neither could my neighbor get into a rehabilitation facility because, thanks again to Medicare, she was not in the hospital for the required three days… Catch-22.
Yes, emergency rooms often serve as the front line for patients who have not established a relationship with a primary care provider. The majority have no intention of paying for the services, making the cost for emergency room care exorbitant for those of us who do pay our bills.
Mr. Thomasson failed to disclose that the major culprit in his story is Medicare and the guidelines concocted by our federal government in a “one size fits all” strategy. To think that a similar bureaucratic nightmare awaits the rest of us as government seizes more control of our health care decisions is my utmost concern.
William E. Brown, M.D.