Mississippi hospital will charge $200 upfront fee for nonurgent ED visits

Beginning Nov. 1, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (Miss.) will ask nonurgent patients who present at the hospital's emergency department to visit a walk-in clinic instead. Nonurgent patients who insist on receiving care in the hospital's ED will be required to pay their insurance copay or a $200 deposit toward the cost of their care before receiving treatment.

"Memorial is the only Level II Trauma Center serving Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties," said Gary G. Marchand, president and CEO of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.  "To provide the best care possible, we must make sure we have the staff and space available to treat emergency patients."

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport's ED sees approximately 6,000 patients each month, and about a quarter of those patients do not have an emergency medical condition, the hospital said in a press release.

"We want the community to appropriately use the healthcare resources we have available," said Mr. Marchand. "If you have an emergency, call 911, and seek emergent care. If not, go to one of our 15 walk-in clinic locations."

The hospital said "qualified ER providers" will decide who is a nonurgent patient.

More articles on EDs:

Physician starts petition calling for LifePoint to renovate Virginia hospital's ED
Rush Oak Park Hospital wins approval for $30M ER expansion

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