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Hospital ERs Begin Charging Fees for Non-Emergency Problems

A growing number of hospitals are charging upfront fees for patients with non-emergent problems who seek care in emergency departments, according to American Medical News.

Patients will be assessed prior to admission, and any whose problems are deemed non-emergent will be charged a fee from $100 to $180 for uninsured patients or the relative co-pay or deductible for insured patients.

Healthcare experts say ER overcrowding could lead to hospitals being more selective about whom can and cannot receive emergency treatment.

Many physicians find this trend alarming, though, as non-urgent care makes up less than 10 percent of visits, and often physicians recommend ERs for after-hours problems.

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