Some fear ACA will lead to ER crowding

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 25, 2014 8:40 AM

(Harrisburg) -- As more people get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, some in the health care sector fear emergency rooms will get crowded.

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Doctor Charles Barbera, President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, says the ER may still be the only option for some of those with insurance.

"We don't have a bunch of primary care physicians sitting around the state in empty offices doing nothing. So they're going to try to get into clinic and into offices and they won't be able to, they'll come to the emergency department. We expect to see a bump, but it'll go down as the system expands."

Barbera says the system needs to catch up with the expansion, but notes he doesn't think the federal government expected such a shakeup because of the ACA.

In the midstate, parts of Franklin, Mifflin and Northumberland counties, as well as all of Juniata county, have been designated as areas experiencing a shortage of primary care phsycians.

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