The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American College of Emergency Physicians, also indicated 85 percent of respondents with regular medical providers who sought emergency care said they could not have waited to see their regular providers.
"Many health insurance plans and state Medicaid offices increasingly want to reduce costs by refusing or lowering payments for emergency room care, despite emergency care being only 2 percent of the nation's healthcare dollar," Dr. David Seaberg, president of American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a statement. "This poll shows strong public support for emergency care and for a federal law already in place that protects coverage of ER visits."
Some reports only look at final diagnoses -- not the symptoms the patients came in with, such as a broken foot that turns out to be a sprain might not be covered, Seaberg said.
"Patients should never be in the position of having to self-diagnose their own medical conditions out of fear their health plans won't pay," Seaberg said. "Even a skilled physician does not know your diagnosis when you first walk in the door. Emergency physicians are asking the public to sign a petition in support of protecting their coverage of emergency care."
The poll surveyed 1,026 U.S. adults April 16-17. No margin of error was provided.
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