According to an Oct. 23 Denver Post article, visits to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas fell 53 percent during the Ebola scare.
Did these people call for an ambulance for their emergency? Did they go to another hospital? Did they go to a walk-in clinic? Did they go to a doctor's office? Did they treat themselves at home?
We might never know, but we don't have to worry about Texas Presbyterian because their parent company, Texas Health Resources, says it has "$3 billion cash on hand to weather any long-term damage."
I am glad to hear that hospitals plan ahead and have cash on hand for emergencies. I am sure that all for-profit hospitals, like Manatee Memorial, do the same. There is no reason that Manatee Memorial staff members cannot come up with some solutions to get non-emergency patients to the proper facility for care.
In Manatee County, Rural Health Care Services made a contract with the Department of Health to take over the care of indigent patients. This is the proper place for quality care to be given for these patients. With continuous care, these individuals will be able to maintain a more healthy lifestyle. RHCS case managers can help by educating the patient on health care plans and options according to the patient's income and get them signed up for one.
All health care providers and services in Manatee County need to work together to plug indigent patients into the proper services that are already available in our county, state and federal programs. Taxpayers are burdened enough paying into these programs and would not like to see any raise in their sales tax or millage rate to cover services in for-profit hospital ERs.