How does emergency healthcare work in the US?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by tekno, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm currently watching a British documentary where they're visiting various A&E departments around the world. At the moment they're in New York.

    Seven people have been rushed to hospital after a guy walked into a cafe and started shooting randomly (a normal Saturday night in New York according to one of the doctors. America sounds like a lovely place.).

    One particular chap has been x-rayed, operated on etc etc. Without a national health service, what would happen if he came round and declared he didn't have any insurance?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    rick snagwell

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    #2
    doesnt matter if you dont have insurance here. by law the hospital has to see you.

    anyone can call 911 and we have to take them wherever they want. so backwards.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #3
    He will be sent a bill for services rendered and can work out the payment with the hospital.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #4
    Stabilize you and send you a bill.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

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    #5
    US Healthcare


    You can't be denied basic healthcare/emergency services. Key word being 'basic'. Prolonged healthcare needs insurance; as does any preventive measures.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    And if he really can't pay (ie he's aready hugely in debt, unemployed)? Or if he dies, who pays?

    Also, if he's unconcious, could he argue he didn't give his consent to have the emergency care and therefore not have to pay?

    ----------

    The NHS in the UK is a complete cash drain. Seems to make sense to me that the basic/emergency healthcare should be state funded but the rest should come from the patient's pocket.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #7

    If he's hugely in debt, he'll be even more hugely in debt. There are ways to lower your debt if you absolutely can't pay, so at least the company gets SOMETHING.


    If he dies - I have no idea.

    Even if he's unconscious,the hospital can say he's in a critical state, and has the right to treat him regardless of if he consents or not. Then afterwards, they shove him a bill.
     
  8. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #8
    It already comes from the patient's pocket through National Insurance payments.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    You know what I mean.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    #10
    Well if the patient has no insurance, there are ways to get him on government qualified plans which will reimburse us for some services we have provided. Basically saying the patient will be disabled. It allows us to collect some money. Depends on the patients situation though.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Or you sell your house, before they do, and hide. ;)
     
  12. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #12

    Yeah, real normal. :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors 603

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    If he can't pay he will declare bankruptcy. The largest single cause for personal bankruptcy in the US are uninsured (or underinsured) medical procedures. If he dies, then the estate gets the bill. I don't know if they can go after family members. But they can garnishee things like pension payments being made to a surviving spouse. If he's lucky he'll have a bunch of friends who will have fund-raising concert or other event.

    It may seem like make sense to push health care costs down to individuals, but what happens is that those individuals will then tend to not see the doctor on a regular basis ... costs too much. By the time they do see the doctor it is in the emergency room. Instead of a quick and regular (and cheap) office visits where the doctor had a chance to identify an issue while it was easily treated, you end up hooked up to million dollar machines, getting scans in million dollar machines, getting medicines at $1000 a pop, in a hospital room that is staffed by highly skilled nurses, doctors and technicians in a building that is purpose built to some very expensive standards, and where you have a good chance to catch c difficile or some other super resistant bug that will make whatever you already had much much worse.

    There is a reason that Americans spend more money on health care than just about everyone else, but still rank well well down on any ranking that measures health care outcomes (i.e. longevity, infant mortality rates, general health of the general population). More socialized health care tends to (but not necessarily universally) produce a healthier population.... personal anecdotes aside.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #14
    USA! USA! USA! We're #1!

    Yeah...not so much...

    Basically if you can't pay, they take everything you have. If you die, they move on to the estate/any family...and take anything THEY have. Welcome to America. Also, if you visit, make sure you get insurance beforehand. It's a sick way of doing things, but that's what happens when you have a capitalist society.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Are you a consultant in an emergency dept? I thought not, but you clearly think you know better.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #16
    The moral of the story is... don't get sick without insurance in the USA.

    Here in the USA if you do get sick and need medical care you will get admitted to a hospital and get fixed up pretty quickly. I have heard stories about long queues (learned queues watching Dr. Who) for the sick and injured in England just waiting for a bed to free up in one of your hospitals. Yes medical care in the UK is 'free' if you live long enough to be admitted.

    Just curious but I've never been to the UK, but I've read all of Charles Dickens novels... do they still have debtors prisons there?

    You might realize that there are a lot of Americans with British ancestry and most of our ancestors came to America because things weren't going to well for us over in England and we came to America in search of a better way of life.
     
  17. macrumors 603

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    Much to the delight of the original inhabitants..... :rolleyes:
     
  18. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Not saying that this balances the scale in any way, but they gave the invaders tobacco.

    Wonder what the score-card on that would read like?
     
  19. macrumors 603

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    I don't know... tobacco vs small pox and genocide... close?
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #20
    As someone pointed out they gave us tobacco... and we gave them Small Pox.

    Prior to the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 the American Indian tribes in the area had quite a bit of contact with Europeans (mostly cod and herring fishing fleets). By the time (1620) that the Pilgrims landed the tribes in New England had lost about 50 percent of their population due to the new diseases that the Europeans had bought over to the new word. This of course helped the Europeans gain a foothold in New England as many of the lands previously inhabited by the tribes were now deserted.
     
  21. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    But tobacco is still up to bat. ;)
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #22
    I guess we are getting off of the USA heath care topic but what the hay. When two cultures meet the results haven't been pretty. Most of early European and Asian history is about one tribe absorbing or pushing a weaker tribe out of their territory. The Anglos, Saxon, Jutes, Francs all were pushed from the east into western Europe.

    When two cultures meet the even the kindest of intentions can turn deadly. When the Vikings first settled Greenland they met the Eskimos. They decided to invite their new neighbors to a feast. The Viking offered the the Eskimos their favorite beverage, a fermented milk drink. The Eskimos ate the food, drank the booze and went home to sleep it off. Well they were lactose intolerant and woke up with stomach aches. They thought the Vikings had tried to poison them so they pick up their weapons and went to kill the Vikings.

    ----------

    But the English also gave us:

    Plum pudding
    Prune wine
    and cover the children's ears: fruit cake
     
  23. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    So, gout??

    Hardly a fair contest there. ;)
     
  24. macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #24
    Emergency services are provided by law to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. If the hospital is unable to collect post facto, the charges are written off and covered over cost shifting. That's part of the reason hospital charges are so high. In reality, those who can pay or with insurance subsidize those who canot pay.
     
  25. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    OMG, you don't mean ....... gasp ....... Socialism?? :eek:

    Republicans have to be made aware of this development!!!!
     

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