news It is a cost issue that the elderly cannot receive emergency medical care

Newswise — Worried about the cost of emergency care, some older people don’t seek medical attention even though they feel they need it, new research shows.

Overall, 22% of seniors who may have needed care from the emergency department did not go because of concerns they might have to pay, according to a new survey published in . American Journal of Managed Care.

People in their 50s and early 60s, women, people without health insurance, people with household incomes less than $30,000, and people who say they have fair or poor mental health should seek emergency care because of cost concerns. were most likely to say that they avoided receiving

The study, based on a survey conducted in June 2020, asked older adults to reflect on the past two years, including the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even among those who did not seek emergency care during this time, concerns about the cost of emergency visits were high. Four out of five older people said they were concerned about the cost of emergency care (35 % were somewhat concerned, 45% were very concerned and 18% were unsure if they could afford to visit.

Data for this study are derived from a National Poll on Healthy Aging, based at the University of Michigan Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation and supported by AARP and Michigan Medicine (UM’s Academic Medical Center). Findings are based on previously published poll reports, based on responses from a nationally representative sample of 2,074 people aged 50 to her 80.

The findings support the experience of lead author Rachel Solnick, M.D., Ph.D., who trained in the IHPI’s National Clinician Scholars Program before joining the faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

“As an emergency physician, I have seen patients postpone treatment and come to the emergency room. They are often sicker than if they had been treated sooner,” she said. “This scenario is the most alarming of the findings: some medically vulnerable groups, or those suffering worse outcomes from COVID-19, have more cost-related more likely to report ER avoidance These findings highlight the importance of reducing the number of uninsured people and the need for insurers to clearly communicate emergency services coverage. I have.”

Keith Kocher, MD, senior author of the study and associate professor of emergency medicine at UM, notes that federal no-surprise legislation was enacted after the study was conducted. The law aims to reduce “sudden claims” when privately insured persons receive emergency medical care from hospitals or providers outside their health plan’s network. At the time of the investigation, Medicare and Medicaid had already banned emergency care providers from making this type of “balance bill.”

Still, those with private insurance can end up with hundreds of dollars in copays or deductibles for emergency visits, the authors note. This is especially true for those with high-deductible health insurance, whose enrollment is on the rise.

While a small proportion of older adults do not have health insurance (4% of the study sample), 35% more said they were not confident they could provide emergency care. , and the decision by more than 10 states, including Texas and Florida, not to extend Medicaid to all low-income adults, has left millions of people facing out-of-pocket costs for emergency visits. It means that there is a possibility of

American Journal of Managed Care, 2023;29(4): In press,

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