Each year, millions of New York residents visit their local emergency rooms. Unfortunately, not everyone receives the same level of care. Many variables go into an ER visit, including what hospital you visit and who treats you. Unfortunately, two major problems in this state’s emergency rooms involve cutting costs and hiring fewer doctors.
The costs of physician labor
As with other businesses, hospitals hire employees to balance budgets and lower expenses. Increasingly, many of these hospitals realize that physician labor costs are major expenses for these facilities.
Considering that, medical staffing firms tend to send physician assistants and nurse practitioners to hospitals instead of doctors. It’s financially beneficial for certain staffing firms to replace licensed physicians with mid-level care providers. Unfortunately, this situation can lead to problems for patients.
Costlier care and more misdiagnoses
While keeping fewer physicians on staff can cut costs, the patients of these facilities don’t have things as easy. In October 2022, the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at over one million visits to emergency rooms within the Veterans Health Administration. Researchers chose this administration due to how often they allow nurse practitioners to treat patients.
This study found that patient costs increased by 7% and experienced an 11% longer stay when receiving treatment from nurse practitioners. There’s also the problem of possible misdiagnoses and instances of medical malpractice. If the patients had received treatment from physicians or nurse practitioners with more experience, each patient would have likely noticed shorter wait times and less expensive hospital bills.
While the performance of private equity healthcare companies looks like a great investment, numerous concerns remain about these companies only looking at the financial side of things. Critics of these investment firms hope the money these companies receive goes towards providing top-notch patient care.