From Fox News.
AUSTIN, Texas —
The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.
The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.
Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50, the report said, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.
I would say that pretty much the same thing happens in the UK – so, what is the solution?
Here's the crazy idea, if it costs $3 million for these people to keep attending the emergency room, and that isn't counting the cost to other people of ambulances and A&E staff being tied up with these patients – how much would it cost to provide 24 hour care for those people? Because if it costs less, wouldn't that be a more effective use of money?
Per year each person cost $55,555 which, while clearer, isn't as 'sexy' a number as $3 million – it's pretty obvious why the larger number is the headline. That isn't, I think, enough to provide 24 hour care, it's the cost of one and a half hip operations. If you moved all nine people into one house you could cut some costs there and then I think it *would* be cheaper to look after them. And with that sort of concentrated care you could maybe move towards 'curing' them of the things that they keep attending A&E for.
Of course, there would be opposition from those that would argue that it is not 'fair' on those people who work every day, pay their own rent and struggle to make ends meet. But even with that argument, isn't that annoyance worth having more free space in ambulances and A&E departments? And if you save money, well, that's just more hip operations for the people who 'deserve' it.
I don't know – am I being daft, because it seems pretty obvious to me?