Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Triage in the time of Recession

A few days ago I mentioned a plan started by Michelle Obama at the University of Chicago Medical Center to shift non-critical patients away from the ER and towards local primary care clinics.  This policy appears to have expanded according to an article in the Chicago Tribune this morning that discusses a new triage system designed to transfer patients to other hospitals.  While it unfortunately does not go into specifics, the article explains that, with up to 40% of their visits inappropriate for the ER, the hospital cannot cope with continued high costs and non-paying patients in the current economy.  

This should be an interesting story to follow.  How long before somebody brings an EMTALA claim?  With the new program worsen relations with local residents?  Will programs such as these finally change the perception that the ER is the place to go for primary care?

No comments: