Dr. Jonathan Glauser would be proud

Austin ER’s got 2,678 visits from 9 people over 6 years:

In the past six years, eight people from Austin and one from Luling racked up 2,678 emergency room visits in Central Texas, costing hospitals, taxpayers and others $3 million, according to a report from a nonprofit made up of hospitals and other providers that care for the uninsured and low-income Central Texans.

Maybe they were just seeing “patients at their own (the customers’) convenience.”  You know, “seeing people who simply need care, regardless of ability to pay.”

The original article continues:

[Dr. Christopher] Ziebell, [chief of the emergency department at University Medical Center at Brackenridge] is a member of a task force that includes representatives of the health district, hospitals and other medical providers studying ways to reduce inappropriate ER use. Solutions might include referring some frequent users to mental health programs or primary care doctors so they would go there first in the future, Ziebell said.

Get used to it, folks.  Even if we as a society start valuing primary care again — which we haven’t yet — it will take many years to rebuild primary care.

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