75% of Emergency Room Visits Are Non Emergency

Health insurance companies are about to crack down on frivolous visits.

IBJ.com is reporting one of those insurance companies is Anthem. In order combat this, Anthem will be making you pay the cost if the condition is unnecessary for the emergency room to treat.

Frustrated that people are continuing to show up at the emergency room with problems that aren’t life-threatening, Anthem Inc., Indiana’s largest health insurer, is pushing a new message: Save the ER for emergencies, or you’ll be responsible for the cost, which could easily run to thousands of dollars.

Starting Oct. 1, Anthem said, it could deny claims for hundreds of non-emergency diagnosis codes, such as bruises, rashes, minor burns, swimmer’s ear and athlete’s foot. Those kinds of medical problems should be treated in a doctor’s office or an urgent-care center for a fraction of the cost, the Indianapolis-based company said.

Nationally, nearly three-quarters of ER visits are for non-emergencies, Anthem said, and insurers have been trying to discourage unnecessary use of the ER for years, sending brochures and letters to members, employers and benefits managers.

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