It’s an Emergency! Does Medicare Part A Cover Emergency Room Visits

The following is a list of the most common questions and answers related to:

What do I need to bring with me when going to the hospital?

You will need your medical insurance card, which can be obtained from any doctor or pharmacy. You may also have health insurance cards provided by employers or other sources such as life insurance policies. If you don’t have one, then you are required to purchase it before being admitted into the hospital.

If you are not covered by any form of health insurance, then you will still need to bring proof of your income. Some hospitals accept cash payment for services rendered. However, if you cannot pay immediately, then you may be able to arrange for a payment plan with the hospital.

Can I get free treatment at the hospital? What happens if I refuse treatment?

Free care is generally available only to those patients who are unable to pay. If you do not wish to receive free care, then you must agree to receive treatment offered by the hospital. If you refuse treatment, then you could face charges for non-payment of fees and/or fines for non-compliance with hospital rules.

How much would it cost me if I go to the hospital? How long will my stay be? Can I leave early without paying?

The hospital will provide you an estimate of the costs of your treatment. This information will be provided to you by the payment clerk at the front desk. The standard rate for a “get well” package is $5,000 a day. Depending on what care you require, it may be more or less than this amount. You can always go to another hospital if you are uncomfortable with the charges at our institution.

A patient cannot leave the hospital until their bill is settled in full. If you do not have the financial resources to pay for your treatment, then you may apply for financial aid through the hospital. A social worker can assist you with this process.

In addition to receiving care from the hospital, I also sustained some injuries.

Who can help me with that?

Whether it is a broken bone or traumatic concussion, any major injury will be treated by the hospital’s emergency staff. If your injuries require surgery, then the hospital will take care of you until you are healthy enough to leave. If you experience any complications during your stay, a full treatment plan will be drawn up by the medical team and followed by you.

It is important that you report all of your past medical history to the physician in charge at the time of admission. This includes a list of all prescription drugs that you are currently taking and all known allergies.

A complete list of current procedures and protocols can be found in the patient handbook located in the hospital room. You may also request that a copy be sent to your home after your admission.

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of the nursing staff.

Thank you,

The Staff of Wellness Hospital

Sources & references used in this article:

The effect of insurance on emergency room visits: an analysis of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform by S Miller – Journal of Public Economics, 2012 – Elsevier

The effect of health insurance on emergency department visits: Evidence from an age-based eligibility threshold by ML Anderson, C Dobkin, T Gross – Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014 – MIT Press

An emergency room decision-support program that increased physician office visits, decreased emergency room visits, and saved money by JL Navratil-Strawn, K Hawkins, TS Wells… – Population health …, 2014 –

A plan to reduce emergency room ‘boarding’of psychiatric patients by V Alakeson, N Pande, M Ludwig – Health Affairs, 2010 –

No room at the inn: a snapshot of an American emergency room by EJ Olson – Stanford Law Review, 1994 – JSTOR

Psychosocial factors influencing non-urgent use of the emergency room: a review of the literature and recommendations for research and improved service delivery by DK Padgett, B Brodsky – Social science & medicine, 1992 – Elsevier

How Far is too Far: EMTALA Moves from the Emergency Room to Off-Campus Entities by CJ Stalker – Wake Forest L. Rev., 2001 – HeinOnline

Relationship between demographic characteristics, patient’s chief complaint, and medical care destination in an emergency room by GT Perkoff, M Anderson – Medical Care, 1970 – JSTOR