ER WAIT TIMES —- Is an hour too long?
According to federal statistics, in the last ten years, the average wait time in an ER has gone from 38 minutes, to over an hour.
Why? It seems like a simple supply and demand issue. More people rely on emergency health care for their primary health care, and there are fewer emergency rooms to serve this increased need.
Other statistics – Most patients that went to the ER had private insurance, but at least 17% had no insurance. About 50% of those admitted to the hospital, were seen in the ER first – which means people are waiting to seek care.
Is this change all about the bottom line? People can’t afford, or can’t get appointments quickly with their primary care docs, so they use the ER? Is it an insurance issue?
What ever it is – it is scary!