Since it appears that people will continue to use the emergency room for minor health issues even after getting health insurance, doctors and hospitals should adapt to the behavior of the people and not the other way around.

Health care is perhaps the only industry were sellers expect buyers to adapt to them, rather than accept and operate as nearly ever other industry where organizations are always adapting to the needs and preferences of consumers in a ever-changing marketplace.

Expecting people to self-triage, and then charging them a penalty (in either time or money) when they get it wrong is how it works in American healthcare today.

The current system expects the patient to know the difference between whether, for example, they have the common flu or SARS and to choose the proper doctor and facility to match exactly what they have. Is it appendicitis or just bad gas? You better know before you decide where to go to seek relief or you may wind up having to pay out of pocket for a bill five times what it should be.

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