Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ERs have become de facto psych wards

Date:
April 24, 2013
Source:
American College of Emergency Physicians
Summary:
Long waits for insurance authorization allowing psychiatric patients to be admitted to the hospital from the emergency department waste thousands of hours of physician time, given that most requests for authorization are ultimately granted. A new study argues that pre-authorization process is akin to health care "rationing by hassle factor."

Long waits for insurance authorization allowing psychiatric patients to be admitted to the hospital from the emergency department waste thousands of hours of physician time, given that most requests for authorization are ultimately granted. A research letter to be published in the May issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine argues that pre-authorization process is akin to health care "rationing by hassle factor" ("Insurance Prior Authorization Approval Does Not Substantially Lengthen the Emergency Department Length of Stay for Patients with Psychiatric Conditions").

"An emergency department is just about the worst place for a psychiatric patient to wait for an inpatient bed, and yet that is exactly what the pre-authorization process forces on millions of these vulnerable people," said senior author J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD of the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Mass. "The thousands upon thousands of hours emergency physicians spend obtaining prior authorization for admission to the hospital are hours we are not spending on direct patient care. Only Medicare does not require prior authorization for us to admit psychiatric patients to the hospital; maybe they are onto something."

Researchers recorded data on 53 patients, most of whom were in the emergency department because they were having suicidal thoughts. Half of the authorization requests took under 20 minutes to be approved, but 10 percent of the patients' authorizations took an hour or more. Only one of the 53 patients' insurance carriers denied pre-authorization. There are approximately 2.5 million psychiatric admissions to hospitals every year in the U.S.

"Psychiatric care is really the poor stepchild in the world of insurance coverage," said lead author Amy Funkenstein, MD, of Brown University in Providence, R.I.. "Insurance carriers reimburse poorly and as a consequence, hospitals often have inadequate resources for patients who urgently need this care. The situation is so dire that ERs are now being designed and configured to house psychiatric patients awaiting placement as inpatients. These patients deserve better."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Emergency Physicians. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Emergency Physicians. "ERs have become de facto psych wards." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424125838.htm>.
American College of Emergency Physicians. (2013, April 24). ERs have become de facto psych wards. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424125838.htm
American College of Emergency Physicians. "ERs have become de facto psych wards." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424125838.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins