Dr. Eric Forsthoefel Deepens Our Understanding of Emergency Care
While every healthcare provider serves an important and necessary function in keeping us all alive and well, emergency care physicians carry an extra special burden of addressing the most critical patients. They understand better than anyone the demands placed on our healthcare system as a whole and the high expectations that patients and their loved ones have when they are desperately in need of critical care. One emergency room physician described below is particularly well versed in the world of critical care and has generously shared his perspective on how our system can improve for the sake of better patient care.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel’s Background in Emergency Room Care
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel specializes in providing critical care medicine and has extensive experience as a well-respected emergency room doctor. Ever since he graduated from medical school at the University of Louisville in 2012, Dr. Forsthoefel has dedicated his professional pursuits to practicing medicine for those most in need of immediate care. He has developed an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of emergency care and the aspects of our healthcare system that require the most urgent attention.
The Challenges Emergency Rooms Across the Country Face
When asked about the most important challenges that emergency rooms across the U.S. are currently coping with, Dr. Forsthoefel responded without hesitation that critical care facilities are overburdened with patients who do not actually need urgent medical care. Instead of presenting to their primary care physicians with complaints or illnesses, these patients are flocking to the emergency room for treatment. While the cause of this problem is many fold, Dr. Forsthoefel shed some much needed light on this complex issue.
Take care of your mind as well as your body. If you find that you are struggling emotionally or you are unable to cope, reach out to others for help. Seeking help is a sign of strength. #TuesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/AZUfedSU5V
— Mental Health America (@MentalHealthAm) September 4, 2018
Dr. Forsthoefel explained that patients are often forced into a difficult decision of where to seek medical care because of how primary care physicians run their practices. These doctors keep traditional office hours for the most part, which does not jive with when some patients need care or are able to travel to see a provider. This is especially true for those injured or sick on weekends. Although pediatricians are more likely to have extended hours, adult primary care doctors are often not willing to see patients after hours.
Another factor at play in driving patients to seek emergency room care for non-urgent medical issues is insurance coverage. Medicare often does not cover specialty needs that a patient might have, but if those services are provided during an emergency room visit, they are billed and covered differently by Medicare. This allows a patient on Medicare to get complete treatment for serious albeit non-urgent problems that they would not otherwise think to seek emergency care for. Additionally, patients who do not have adequate insurance coverage are aware that emergency rooms will not refuse treatment and are a viable last resort if they are unable to have their needs covered by traditional health insurance plans.