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who are "emergency medical associates" ?

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Hail Lord Xenu

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my ER visits are supposed to be covered 100% by charity care. a bill arrived yesterday from a company called "emergency medical associates" claiming they are independent of the hospital and i owe them money.

there appears to be a highly complex web of for-profit business relationships at this non-profit hospital.

could someone with an inside track please enlighten me as to how these entities operate?
 

southerndoc

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The majority of hospitals do not employee emergency physicians. Emergency physicians are usually independent contractors or employees of companies with whom the hospital contracts.

Why are your ER visits covered 100% by charity care? Your facility fee might be, but unless you have some arrangement with the emergency physicians, then you are billed just like all other patients. Except in your case, it appears you do not have health insurance. If that is the case, if you contact the emergency physician group (Emergency Medical Associates), they may work out a payment plan or wipe out your emergency bill.

I am hoping you used the ER for a true emergency and not for non-emergent care just because it's "free."
 

Hail Lord Xenu

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I had a high fever and my PCP (who charges me only $40) would not have office hours for another two days.

Emergency medical associates billed me $350. Just out of curiosity, what is the ER physician's cut?
 

EC3

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I had a high fever and my PCP (who charges me only $40) would not have office hours for another two days.

Emergency medical associates billed me $350. Just out of curiosity, what is the ER physician's cut?
That depends on whether you pay or not.
 

southerndoc

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That depends on whether you pay or not.
And also what kind of service it is. Most places are hourly, so the physician gets the same amount whether you pay or not (an hourly rate). Some places are fee-for-service where the physician gets a portion of it (after overhead, malpractice, company profit, etc.) are paid and they only receive that if you pay your bill. Some places are on a productivity model where the physician works as if it's fee-for-service, but he/she gets paid regardless of your ability to pay (the company eats the loss if you do not pay).
 
D

deleted65604

Depending on what the ER doctor does for you and how much of his time you take up, it is probably from 40-80 bucks. What people like you don't understand is that an ER has 5-6 times the overhead that a clinic has (I'm just pulling random numbers from my hind-end).

The ER is more expensive than a clinic for many reasons:

-There are more nurses/techs/respiratory therapists/receptionists, etc. than at a clinic.

-That huge ER bill also goes to help pay the enormous power bill, and for the huge quantity of supplies that get used up on a daily basis.

-There is also a huge number of medicines/medical devices kept on stock in the Emergency Department that expire on a regular basis and have to be restocked, even though they haven't been used.

-To top it all off, there a lot more administrative overhead associated with emergency departments. There is much more paperwork generated as a result of government regulations, and the nurses are forced to spend at least half their time charting (ironically decreasing patient care time, and increasing the number of nurses needed on shift at any given time).

-Also, as was pointed out above, a lot of people don't pay because there is a misperception that they won't get sent to collections. So, people with insurance and who actually pay, get a larger proprotion of these costs.

If someone has more specific knowledge about specific numbers or can add other reasons why the ER is more expensive, feel free do do so.

(I was just talking to a patient the other day who works for a collections agency who gets most of their business from our ER, collecting bills from patients. Yes, you will get hounded about ER bills, and you will have your credit ruined by not paying them.)
 

docB

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Here's a postI wrote back in 2007 about why physician bills from the ED are high compared to what people think they should get charged based on time spent or whatever (not including the fact that people just don't want to pay much).

I also have pointed out (but can't find it now) that part of the reason that ED bills are high is that you're only supposed to go to the ER if you have an EMERGENCY. It is assumed that you needed a high level of care. It's assumed in the bill too.

On a side note of ressurected a dead post we were talking about the impending doom of the eventual balance billing ruling years ago.
 

beanbean

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Wonder why he got the ban? (other than being a scientologist)

He posted a thread asking if the general public thought DOs were inferior to MDs...that could have been part of the reason, but I think this post put the nail in his coffin:

B in anatomy, B in Organic Chemistry.

I don't envy, I admire them. My top two favorites:

1. Cardio-thoracic surgeons
2. Radiologists w/ sub speciality

And out of those I admire WASP doctors the most, for their rarity and gallant aura. They have to be smarter than most other med school applicants and I think you know why.

A WASP cardio thoracic surgeon is simply god on earth.
 

dchristismi

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Seems like the sort of guy who was just standing on the corner minding his own business... or perhaps should be.
 

Toohotinvegas33

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wow, wiki lord xenu and you will find an excellent read for the night...
 
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