Monday, July 7, 2014

Long Wait Times in California ERs Blamed on Obamacare

Monday, 07 Jul 2014 01:34 PM
By Sandy Fitzgerald
Patients heading to many California emergency rooms can expect to spend the better part of a workday waiting to see a doctor, thanks to the higher number of people using their
Obamacare benefits in ERs rather than paying for visits to a primary doctor.

The average wait time for the state's emergency rooms was already at more than five hours, according to a report from the California Healthcare Foundation last October, when Obamacare went live.

But now, doctors in California say more patients than ever are crowding into emergency rooms because far fewer doctors accept Obamacare policies than had been anticipated.

Officials at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California, told local Fox News affiliate KMPH that it is now processing 300 to 400 patients a day — many of whom did not have insurance before their Obamacare cards arrived in the mail.

California's emergency rooms have always been slow, the state healthcare foundation's report found. Even before Obamacare kicked in, the average wait time was more than five hours among patients who were admitted, nearly an hour longer than the national average.

Californians were experiencing long ER wait times for years, however. According to an analysis by healthcare consulting firm Press Garney, wait times even in 2009 were over four hours long, ranking the state in 40th place for wait times, reports

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