West Virginia hospital to charge for non-emergency ER visits

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A health system has planned to begin charging patients up-front co-pays for non-emergency visits to a West Virginia hospital’s emergency room.
    
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Thomas Memorial Hospital’s administration says starting Wednesday staff will inform patients of the change and explain other options for their non-urgent care. Thomas Health System president and CEO Dan Lauffer says the charges will begin in about a month.
    
Hospital spokeswoman Paige Johnson says 30 percent of its ER patients are deemed with non-emergency problems. She says there’d be a minimum $8 up-front fee and that maximums “depend on their insurance copay.”
    
Lauffer says patients who’d be better served at walk-in clinics or doctor’s offices are less likely to receive the care they need at the ER and that they lengthen its wait times.
    
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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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