Insurer to stop covering some emergency room visits: WABE FM

Filed Under: Costs

Emergency room sign

“Starting in July, health insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will stop covering emergency room visits it deems unnecessary,” Adhiti Bandlamudi writes at WABE.org in Atlanta. “And doctors and analysts have a lot to say about it.  Blue Cross Blue Shield is enacting this policy because it doesn’t want people to use the emergency room as their primary health care.   ‘The cost of care’s been going up so much faster than people’s earnings. We have got to find a better way to do some of this stuff, taking some of that unnecessary spending out of the system,’ says Jeff Fusile, president of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Fusile says BCBS wants patients to use urgent care, retail health clinics and their LiveHealth app, which are all cheaper than an ER visit.  ‘What this policy is directed at is regular, run-of-the mill colds, maybe even influenza. But you don’t need to go to the emergency department to get tested for whether or not you have the flu and to get a Tamiflu prescription,’ says Jason Hockenberry, who teaches health policy at Emory University.” Adhiti Bandlamudi,  “Blue Cross Blue Shield To Launch Emergency Room Policy,” WABE 90.1 FM.