Now you can buy a place in line at some hospital emergency rooms! A new online service allows you to make an appointment with participating hospital emergency rooms. If you aren’t seen within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, you don’t pay for the online registration, and at some hospitals you may not have to pay for some of the emergency room services. The guarantee and what you will or won’t be charged with seems to vary from hospital to hospital. I refuse to link the site, but you can find Google it easily enough.
Hospitals are paying a monthly fee to participate in this program and hope to recover the cost from patients using the service. In my opinion, a hospital that receives any taxpayer money should not be allowed to participate. Too many people already use emergency rooms for medical care they should get from their regular doctors or other medical care facilities. By this company offering a wait time that is less than most private doctor offices, expect more overcrowding in emergency rooms.
Fees vary. I came across one for $9.99 and another for $24.99. I hope insurance companies won’t be picking up the bill for this, and as cold hearted as it may sound, I hope guidelines are in place to prevent people on free ride medical services such as Medicaid from participating. Anyone who already receives free medical care at taxpayer expense and can afford the fees may not need to be riding on the freebie wagon to start with.
Granted, this service has potential, but it should be restricted to privately owned medical services which receive no local, state, or federal funding. The service is a “convenience service”, making money off sick people and yet another example of how money can talk.