Emergency Rooms Across The Country Being Used For Dental Visits

Seeking primary dental care in the ER is a new phenomenon facing medicine today.

Lack of access in rural areas, and little or no emphasis on preventive care have contributed to a gross misuse of medical resources.

Too few dentist participating in Medicaid has also contributed to the problem.

Using emergency rooms for dental treatment “is incredibly expensive and incredibly inefficient,” said Dr. Frank Catalanotto, a professor at the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry who reviewed the report.
Preventive dental care such as routine teeth cleaning can cost $50 to $100, versus $1,000 for emergency room treatment that may include painkillers for aching cavities and antibiotics from resulting infections, Catalanotto said.

As the Need Rises, Hospital Emergency Rooms are Closing

Hospital emergency rooms serving the poor are closing at alarming rates.

As the need for emergency care has increased hospitals have been met with longer wait times and less effective care.

As eligability for Medicaid increases with the new health care law, more recipients will turn to emergency rooms as their primary care option as many physicians do not take Medicaid payments.

Urban and suburban areas have lost a quarter of their hospital emergency departments over the last 20 years, according to the study, in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 1990, there were 2,446 hospitals with emergency departments in nonrural areas. That number dropped to 1,779 in 2009, even as the total number of emergency room visits nationwide increased by roughly 35 percent.

Emergency departments were most likely to have closed if they served large numbers of the poor, were at commercially operated hospitals, were in hospitals with skimpy profit margins or operated in highly competitive markets, the researchers found.

African-Americans With Liver Cancer Get Fewer Transplants

The treatment of liver liver cancer is expensive, high tech and on the rise.

But that doesn’t address the issue fully.

African -Americans face obstacles such as, lack of insurance, information, community and family support.

There is also the issue of discrimination within the medical community toward minority patients.

American Cancer Society statistics have shown the following:

African Americans with liver cancer are less likely than whites to get a transplant for the disease, according to U.S. researchers.

About one in 100 men in the U.S. develop the cancer at some point, while women are less than half as likely to do so, according to the American Cancer Society

The researchers found that over the first half of the study, white liver cancer patients had a 30 percent chance of receiving a new liver, compared to only 15 percent for blacks.

Although there are probably several reasons for the disparity, the biggest driver is the difference in access to care at the early stages of the disease due to health insurance.

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