Dr Eric Forsthoefel: Denying Patients Services in the ERs Could Lead to Serious Moral Issues

In a recent interview, Dr Eric Forsthoefel, an expert and a long-serving profession in the emergency departments expounded mainly on one of the main challenges affecting the medical department. Through the interview, Dr. Eric noted that there had been a trend that shows the number of people who are seeking medical care services in the emergency department has been increasing for the past three decades. The problem is that a significant amount of those seeking emergency medical services has situations that can be described as non-urgent by a professional healthcare provider.

The findings of Dr Eric Forsthoefel have been consistent with the results of other research studies that show that the number of people with non-urgent medical issues seeking services in the emergency department is increasing. This leads to a situation where the emergency department has to address primary health care services and emergency medical services. The resources get stretched to such a point that offering quality services in the emergency room is a challenge. All the funds and time that has been set aside to cater for people with emergency needs are used to treat people who do not need emergency medical services.

Understanding the causes of this trend has called for various research studies and thoughts from medical practitioners and emergency experts who have highlighted their reasons in various medical journals. A research study conducted by George Washington University seems to shed light on this issue. According to the findings of the survey, many people prefer medical services from the emergency department because it is easy to get an appointment with an emergency medical professional as compared to getting an appointment with a primary healthcare provider. Moreover, a significant number of individuals, especially those without insurance, who feel that there is no real connection between them and the primary healthcare providers.

However, there has been tremendous progress in preventing people without urgent medical conditions from accessing their medical services in the emergency room. One of this method is by ensuring that insurance companies that pay for such services cut them off. For example, Anthem, which is the largest medical insurance provider has already refused to fund this luxury in most of the states. It is a strategy that other medical insurance companies should adopt. Moreover, companies that offer medical covers to their employers should also take this as a matter of consideration.

However, refusing to pay for non-urgent medical services, which has been acquired in the emergency room has raised some critical moral issues. The American College of American Physicians is profoundly opposed to the developing policy. There is an argument that it is difficult to ascertain someone who needs emergency medical attention and those that do not need it. Doctors are arguing that a minor injury could be directed to the primary care department only for it to be severe enough to cause death. This will lead to medical negligence cases around the country. This means that various considerations have to be met before deciding to prevent people from seeking medical services in the emergency rooms.