The Allure of the One-Stop Shop: The Real Reasons Why People Go to the E.R. When They Shouldn't

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date





Quality Improvement; Emergent Care


Perhaps you've heard about the guy who is wrecking the American health care system. He is uninsured, has no major medical problems, and loves the emergency room. He is said to stroll in about once a month to various E.R.s around town for reasons as diverse as a simple cold or an STD check. He usually asks a doctor to excuse him from work and complains if he doesn't get a prescription for narcotic pain medication. The cost of his medical care is unnecessarily high because for his complaints, the E.R. is more expensive than a doctor's office would be. But our legendary visitor doesn't have a primary-care doctor: Why should he, since everything he needs is at the local E.R.?


This is an open access publication. Click on link for full-text access.

Open Access