Does Obamacare Help Hospitals?
News outlets examine recent reports, including one from the American College of Emergency Physicians, to see if the health law is fulfilling its promise.
The Texas Approach To Emergency Treatment
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to cut emergency visits by giving more patients access to primary care doctors, but a survey released on May 4 by the American College of Emergency Physicians showed the opposite has happened: Seventy-five percent of ER doctors reported an increase in patients over the past year, in part because there aren’t enough primary care doctors to see newly insured patients. That’s good news for companies like Adeptus Health, based in Lewisville, Texas, which owns the First Choice Emergency Room chain. Adeptus has 52 emergency centers in Texas and an additional 12 in Colorado affiliated with the University of Colorado Health system. It’s paying lobbyists in other states, including Arizona and Ohio, to push for regulatory changes that would allow it to open ERs there. The company also has lobbyists in Washington. (Etter, 5/15)
Would Insure Tennessee Have Hurt Hospitals? Reports Stir Debate
A pair of reports pointing at the Affordable Care Act for piling additional burdens on hospitals have stirred conversation about whether Insure Tennessee would have sent more people to the emergency room. A recent study by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that, according to three-fourths of emergency room doctors, the number of people coming to the ER has increased since January 2014. Separately, a Kentucky Hospital Association report said federal policies will negatively affect the state's hospitals. (Fletcher, 5/14)