Is emergency room care actually a great deal?

The Washington Post, October 10, 2012

Health care delivered in the emergency room is often derided as expensive and inefficient, the source of our health spending woes. Physician Robert O'Connor has a different way to describe emergency medicine: An incredibly good deal. O'Connor chairs the department of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. As an emergency room doctor, he is not unbiased in defending the work he and his colleagues do. He's also pretty tired of all the rhetoric about emergency rooms as the health spending culprit. He says that ERs only account for 2 percent of all health care spending—and argues that patients actually get tons of bang for their buck.


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