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Health Care

Insured Floridians Delay Health Care, Say ER Doctors

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Florida’s emergency room doctors say they’re seeing patients delay health care—even if they have insurance—

according to the results of a survey published by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

“Patients with health insurance were delaying health care decisions—and delayed medical care—because of their fear of high out-of-pocket expenses, high deductibles or high co-insurance,“ says Dr. Andrew Bern, a South Florida emergency physician and a spokesperson for ACEP.

Among the findings from ER doctors in Florida:

  • 79 percent are seeing patients with health insurance who have delayed seeking medical care because of high out-of-pocket expenses, high deductibles or high co-insurance.
  • 87 percent say primary care physicians send patients to ERs to receive medical tests or procedures when health insurance companies refuse to cover office visits.
  • 91 percent treat patients who have difficulty finding specialists because health plans have narrow networks.

Those numbers were higher than the national averages:

  • 70 percent are seeing patients with health insurance who have delayed seeking medical care because of high out-of-pocket expenses, high deductibles or high co-insurance.
  • 67 percent say primary care physicians send patients to ERs to receive medical tests or procedures when health insurance companies refuse to cover office visits.
  • 81 percent treat patients who have difficulty finding specialists because health plans have narrow networks.

The national study was released at the national ACEP meeting this week in Boston.