Hits & Misses #2 – 2009/9/4

At three hospitals you can make an ER appointment online: See a doctor within 15 minutes of the scheduled time or it's free!

Placebos are becoming more effective. (HT to Marginal Revolution)

On vacation, don't get sick: Two dozen hospitals near popular travel destinations have death rates among the worst in the USA.

Comments (4)

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  1. Larry C. says:

    The vacation warning is an eye opener.

  2. Larry C. says:

    Why does it take a hospital to provide online apppintments with a guarantee on waiting when the service is clearly nonurgent care.

    Why aren’t the physicians’ offices doing this?

  3. Joe S. says:

    Without even looking into it, I bet that the whole third party payment system faovrs the emergency room and discriminates against the primary care physician.

  4. Linda Gorman says:


    It depends on who is doing the third party paying.

    Private insurers hit people pretty hard if they use the ER and aren’t admitted to the hospital. So, it should come as no surprise that the most frequent users of ERs are those covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Partly because they are sicker, and partly because there is no financial penalty for doing so.

    Medicaid and Medicare patients, who may face long waits for doctor appointments due to the fact that government pretends to pay for health care, also appreciate the fact that the ER is open 24/7 and has all the tests in one place.

    The existing evidence suggests that the uninsured, who pay through the nose, use the ER at about the same rate as the privately insured.