Monday, September 22, 2008

I Feel Fine

Interesting article this morning in the Wall Street Journal discussing the recent reduction in healthcare spending by consumers in light of the slowing economy.  Apparently, along with prescription drugs and elective procedures, emergency room visits are being scaled back by penny-pinching patients (as evidenced by Nurse K's recent post, which must have inspired the article).

Apparently what was once considered a recession-proof industry is now taking a hit across the board.  While it may seem that a period of financial strain might help empty some of the waiting room chairs of people with bogus complaints, the article goes on to mention that if anything, this will be a calm before the storm.  Unfortunately, though the patients with knee pain for 16 years might think twice before driving in, those with real medical problems are skipping prescription doses, canceling their doctor's appointments, and putting off necessary procedures.  Which means those who feel fine now and can't afford medical care will simply end up in the ER a few months down the line, flooding the waiting room with patients requiring even more expensive care.

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